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World News

Pastor removes Harry Potter books from Catholic school due to risk of 'conjuring evil spirits'

by Tola Mbakwe

Rev. Dan Reehil sent an email to the parents of students at St Edward Catholic School in Nashville, Tennessee and informed school staff about his decision.

According to the vicar, the email states: "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."

Harry Potter is a seven part fictional book series about the adventures of a young wizard and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Rev Reehil said he consulted exorcists in the US and Rome before making his decision to remove the books.

Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, said the pastor had the final say in the matter because the Catholic Church doesn't have an official stance on the issue.

"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."

Hammel added that she does not know what prompted their removal, but the fact that the school opened a new library may have been a factor.

"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.

Hammel also said the decision in no way has an impact on what parents would like their children to read outside school hours.

"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."

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