Photo Credits: Flickr
A private Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee has removed all Harry Potter books from its library because, as they say, the books include “actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits.” St. Edward Catholic School superintendent in Nashville listened to the advice from a pastor who emailed parents about the JK Rowling’s series. He claimed to have been in contact with “several” exorcists who recommended removing the books from the library.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Rev Dan 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.”
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told The Tennessean that the Reverend Reehill had indeed sent the email and has the final say on the matter, since the Catholic Church does not have an official position on Ms Rowling’s best-selling series.
"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." She added: “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.”
Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling that chronicle the lives of a young wizard and his friends, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Young wizards do use some spells such as Avada Kedavra (Killing Curse) or Arresto Momentum (Slowing Charm) or Crucio (The Torture Curse) during their adventures but to claim that those spells can affect people who read them is ridiculous.
As The Guardian reports, the Harry Potter books have drawn censure from Christians ever since the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released in 1997. Challengers asserted that the books “glorified magic and the occult, confusing children and leading them to attempt to emulate the spells and curses they read about,” said the American Library Association (ALA).
In 2001, the pastor of Christ Community Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico oversaw a book burning of the Potter books, and a local library responded with a dedicated display, telling the public that “Harry is alive and well at their library.”
While he was still a cardinal in 2003, the future Pope Benedict XVI described the books as “subtle seductions which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly.”