A Roman Catholic school has removed Harry Potter books from its library as church leaders say J.K. Rowling’s spells pose “real risk.”
Students at St Edward Catholic School in Nashville, Tennessee, will no longer have access to copies of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series from the school library, because the school’s pastor has removed all seven of the magical books from library shelves, after taking issue with their portrayal of magic.
According to an email sent to the parents of the students, The Reverend Dan Reehill made the decision after consulting with several exorcists and deliverance ministers in the US and Rome.
They concluded that the spells and curses described in the book are “real” and “risk conjuring evil spirits” when read aloud.
The incredibly popular book series follows titular character Harry Potter as he discovers he is a wizard and goes off to learn magic at Hogwarts School.
Along the way, he and his closest friends, Ron and Hermione, often face great danger and have to make potions and cast a number of different spells and charms to save the day.
And while many of the characters use their magic for good, Reverend Reehill believes it’s all a “clever deception”, to distort the truth about evil spirits.
Writing in his email, he explained: “These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but is, in fact, a clever deception. 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, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, confirmed that the Reverend had sent out this email and that he has the final say on the matter.
She also said that the Catholic Church does not have an official position on the best-selling books.
“Each pastor has a canonical authority to make such decision for his parish school”, she added. “He’s well within his authority to act in that matter.”