WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Citing risks of evoking evil spirits, a pastor of a Nashville Catholic school, extracted all Harry Potter books from the school library.
- Dan Reehil sent an email to parents explaining that the books contained actual spells and curses that might bring forth the presence of evil spirits while the person is reading the text.
- Even though the books were removed, the Catholic schools superintendent said that it is not the Catholic Church decision whether to retain the books in the school circulation, but is up to the school leaders.
A Tennessee Catholic school has been reported to have taken out the seven-book Harry Potter series from its school library due to fears of possibly ‘conjuring evil spirits’.
Rev. Dan Reehil, the pastor of St. Edward School, a pre-K to 8th grade Roman Catholic school in Nashville, sent an email to parents explaining why the popular books by J.K. Rowling about the adventures of a young wizard and his friends, were removed from the school’s collection.
The Tennesseean reports that the email wrote: “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.”
According to reports, the email also shared that Reehil sought advice from several exorcists who supported the removal of the books from the school library.
While the school’s superintendent for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, Rebecca Hammel, confirmed that Reehil indeed removed the books, she, however, stated that the decision whether to let the books remain in their library system rests on each of the leaders of the school and not on the Catholic Church.
“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” Hammel told The Tennesseean. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.”
Continuing, Hammel also said that she expects that some books like the Harry Potter series, for instance, will be weeded out while the administration is currently undergoing the process of overhauling the library and changing and sprucing up its circulation.
Regarding students being allowed to read the Harry Potter books on their own, Hammel told The Tennesseean that the decision is up to each child’s parents to guide them which media would they deem appropriate for them to read.
“We really 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,” said Hammel.
Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted the school for comments.