Catholic school reportedly removes Harry Potter books from library because they 'risk conjuring evil spirits'

Megan Johnson
A Catholic school in Nashville has reportedly removed the popular <a href="" data-ylk="slk:Harry Potter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Harry Potter</a> book series from its library. (Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A Catholic school in Nashville has reportedly removed the popular Harry Potter book series from its library. (Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A Catholic school in Tennessee has reportedly removed the popular Harry Potter book series from its library because they “risk conjuring evil spirits.”

The Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the St. Edward School, a pre-K through 8th grade Roman Catholic school in Nashville, explained to parents in an email why the extremely popular seven-book series by J.K. Rowling about a young wizard and his friends was taken out of the school’s collection.

"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," the email states, according to a report in The Tennesseean.

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The email also reportedly shared that Reehil had consulted with several exorcists who also advocated for removing the books from the school’s library.

Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, confirmed to the Tennesseean that Reehil removed the books. However, she stated that the Catholic Church does not have an official position on the Harry Potter books, andsaid it’s up to each school’s leader to make the decision whether to let them remain in their library system.

"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 continued by saying that the administration had been going through a period of refurbishing the library and changing up its offerings.

"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," Hammel said.

The school posted several photos on their Instagram page of the library, declaring it “a great space for learning.” The shots show a class of young students raising their hands during a session.

In a second shot, several older students are pictured reading in the newly refurbished space.

As for whether students should be allowed to read the Harry Potter series on their own time, Hammel told the Tennesseean that it’s up to each child’s parents to make that decision.

"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," Hammel said. "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."

Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to the school for comment.

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