St. Edward pre-K through 8th grade Catholic School in Nashville, Tennessee has pulled the popular ‘Harry Potter’ books from its library to prevent students from using the “actual curses and spells” in them to conjure “evil spirits.” Following an inquiry from a parent, Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the Roman Catholic parish school, sent an email that read, in part:
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but 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.”
Reehil revealed that he had consulted with exorcists in the US and in Rome, who advised him to remove the books. It appears that the ‘Harry Potter’ novels were previously available, but that St. Edwards had just opened a new library and that this was when the books were removed.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, said that although the Catholic Church has no position in the ‘Harry Potter’ books:
“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school. He’s well within his authority to act in that manner… 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.”
Hammel stated that she was unaware of any other books being removed for a similar reason, but added that the Catholic Church sees parents as a child’s main teachers.
The seven ‘Harry Potter’ books have sold in the billions and have generated even more billions thanks to the popular Warner Brothers film adaptations, and licensing. There is even a theme park in Orlando, FL.
The first novel, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ (‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ in the US) was first published in 1997. I’m not aware than anyone since then that has ever used one of the “actual curses and spells” to conjure real “evil spirits.”