A school in Tennessee has banned JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book series after the pastor declared the books contained real spells and curses.
Reverend Dan Reehill, of St Edward Catholic School in Nashville, told parents of students in an email that he had spoken to exorcists in the US and at the Vatican before outlawing the seven-volume tale.
“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,” Reverend Reehill wrote.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, confirmed with The Tennessean that Reverend Reehill had 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,” she said. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.”
The reason behind the sudden ban was because the school had recently opened a new library, prompting the faculty to reassess its catalogue.
“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,” she said.
“Should parents deem that this or any other media to be appropriate we would hope that they would just guide their sons and daughters to understand the content through the lens of our faith.
“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.”