If students at St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville wish to revel in the magic and wizardry of the Harry Potter books, they will now have to look outside their school library, because the school’s pastor believes reading spells from the books will conjure up evil spirits.
According to The Tennessean, Rev. Dan Reehil sent an email stating that the books — a series of seven written by J.K. Rowling — “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 said in the email.
His decision to remove the books from the library came after he consulted with exorcists in both the U.S. and Rome, according to Reehil’s email. They recommended that he pull the literature from students’ reach.
Though the Catholic Church does not have an official stance on the series, Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told The Tennessean that the decision to include or remove the books from a school library is up to the pastor.
"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."