The Harry Potter book series has been removed from the library of St. Edward Catholic School in Tennessee after their pastor, Reverend Dan Reehill, deemed that “actual curses and spells” were contained within the novels, The Tennessean reports.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but a clever deception,” Reverend Reehill wrote in an email to the parents of the school’s students. “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.”
Rev. Reehill claims that he reached his decision after consulting with several exorcists in the United States and the Vatican.
Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, confirmed that Rev. Reehill sent that email, and as pastor of the parish school, he had the power to enact that type of change to the school library. “Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” Hammel said. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.”
Even though the Harry Potter series is no longer available in the library of St. Edward Catholic School, Hammel doesn’t believe the school can stand in the way of the novels that have been approved by the student’s parent(s).
“Should parents deem that this or any other media 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 said. “We don’t get into censorship in such selections other than making sure that what we put in our school libraries is age-appropriate materials for our classrooms.”
Hammel thinks the Harry Potter books can still be found in all other school libraries throughout the diocese.