It’s a self-evident fact: few book series in the world can rival the popularity of the world-famous Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. Each subsequent release was eagerly awaited by millions with anxious anticipation.
But as popular as the Harry Potter books are, they can no longer be part of St Edward Catholic School’s library in Nashville, Tennessee.
Apparently, the way the books portray magic became an issue with the school’s pastor, Reverend Dan Reehill.
The curses and spells
in the book, the man of cloth claimed, are very real. Therefore, they
can conjure evil spirits as the books are read, and the school will
stand for none of that.
He made his reasoning
understood in an email he sent to the parents and the students regarding
the surprising decision. The pastor also made it clear he did not
arrive at the decision on his own.
As it turns out, he had talked to exorcists in the country and the Vatican.
The dramatic series
centers on Harry Potter, a young wizard boy who attends Hogwarts school
of magic while also fighting against Lord Voldemort and other dark
While the reverend does
not dispute the existence of magic, he takes exception at having it
portrayed as being both good and bad.
More importantly, the reverend wrote, the books use ‘actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.’
The pastor has the
authority to ban the book series since he has ‘a canonical authority to
make such decisions for his parish school.’ This is according to Rebecca
Hammel, the superintendent of the Catholic Diocese of Nashville.
So, in case you were wondering, Reverend Dan Reehill did not exceed his authority.
The Vatican has no official position on whether Harry Potter books are good or bad.
According to Ms.
Hammel, the school set up a new library recently. That came with a
decision by the faculty to have another look at its catalog.
However, even though
the students will not access the Harry Potter books from their library,
the school will not stop students from reading them, if their parents so
But Ms. Hammel hopes that such parents will help their children see the books from a religious perspective.
She went on to clarify
that the school is not about censoring such reading materials. Instead,
their intention is to ensure that the books they provide are age-appropriate for their classrooms.