The famous Harry Potter books have been banned from the library at a Catholic junior school in Nashville, as they are thought to contain real curses and spells that could accidentally summon evil spirits.
According to local newspaper, The Tennessean, a pastor from the St Edward Catholic school contacted parents regarding the books, saying that he had been talking with numerous exorcists who suggested the ban.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” said Reverend Dan Reehil. “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.”
A few of the curses found in the JK Rowling series include, “avada kedavra”, the curse that instantly kills the recipient; “crucio”, the curse that exposes the victim to unbearable pain; and “imperio”, which allows the wizard to command another as he or she pleases.
Superintendent says the pastor is within his rights
Superintendent of schools for the Catholic diocese of Nashville, Rebecca Hammel, explained that Reehil sent the email after hearing from a concerned parent.
“He’s well within his authority to act in that manner,” said Hammel. “Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school”.
The Tennessean said that the Potter books were still available up until the end of last term, but now the school has opened a new library that no longer contains the series.
“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,” said Hammel, adding that if the parents felt that the books were appropriate “we would hope that they would just guide their sons and daughters to understand the content through the lens of our faith”.
Hammel further commented, “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.”
Since the first book was released 22 years ago, the series has received a surplus of criticism from Christians all over the world. It 1999, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the most challenged book in the United States.