A school in Nashville has removed all Harry Potter books from its library because they include “actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits,” it is being reported.
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According to the Tennessean, Rev Dan Reehil, pastor at St Edward Catholic, school emailed parents about the JK Rowling series to inform them that he had been in touch with “several” exorcists who recommended he remove the books from the school’s library.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Reehil’s email read. “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”
Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Catholic diocese of Nashville, told the Tennessean that Reehil’s email came after a parent made an enquiry about the books. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner,” Hammel said, because “each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school.”
The Harry Potter books were in the school’s library until the end of the previous term, but when the school opened its new library the books were not present, the local paper reports.
“I know that in the process they were going through and kind of weeding out some of the content in hopes of sprucing it up and improving the circulation,” said Hammel, adding that if parents deemed the stories “to be appropriate we would hope that they would just guide their sons and daughters to understand the content through the lens of our faith.”
She added: “We really don’t get into censorship in such selections other than making sure that what we put in our school libraries are age-appropriate materials for our classrooms.”
This isn’t the first the time the JK Rowling series has been challenged by the church. In 2001, a burning of Harry Potter books took place in New Mexico, overseen by the pastor of Christ Community Church in Alamogordo.
In 2003, the future Pope Benedict XVI described the books as “subtle seductions which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly.”
In the first images, it’s shown that the signature colours of each Hogwarts house have been represented in different Vans designs.