NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Local) — Harry Potter books have been expelled from a private Catholic school in Tennessee after the school’s pastor said they could cause a reader to conjure “evil spirits.”
The seven-book series about the young wizard and his magical adventures and his friends was removed from the library at St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville because of their content, the Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the Roman Catholic parish school, wrote in an email to parents, CBS affiliate WTVF reported.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Reehil wrote.
“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,” he added.
Reehil also wrote that he had “consulted several exorcists, both in the United States and in Rome, and they have recommended removing the books from circulation.”
Nashville school pastor removes Harry Potter books claiming 'risk of conjuring evil spirits'https://t.co/3ObxGvgVcA
— NewsChannel 5 (@NC5) September 3, 2019
The core Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling between 1997 and 2007 spurred a successful movie franchise and a huge following worldwide.
Reehil was out of the office, but Catholic Diocese of Nashville superintendent Rebecca Hammel told The Tennessean he had sent the email after an inquiry from a parent.
“He’s well within his authority to act in that manner,” she said.
Hammel said she thinks the books are still on the shelves of other libraries in the diocese.
“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,” Hammel said. St. Edward Catholic School teaches children of pre-kindergarten age through to 8th grade,
Hammel said she thinks the books are still on the shelves of other libraries in the diocese. The Catholic Church itself does not have an official position on the Harry Potter books, she said.