Reverend Dan Reehil from a Roman Catholic parish school has revealed that books about English wizard Harry Potter are no longer available for students because of their content, The Tennessean reports.
"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", he claimed in an email, explaining the move.
According to the priest, before removing the bestsellers by English author Joanne Rowling about the magic school and its students from the library, he had turned to several exorcists in the US and Rome for advice, who encouraged him to act.
Superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville Rebecca Hammel has told the outlet that the reverend sent his email in response to an inquiry from a parent and notified the faculty.
She pointed out that there is no official position on these books within the Catholic Church and that it is the school's pastor who is to decide.
"Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school. He's well within his authority to act in that manner", she explained, noting that she did not think other school libraries in their diocese still have the novels about the young wizard and his adventures.
According to the educator, only St Edward's previous school library in Nashville, used in the 2018-2019 school year, had them. When a new one was opened for the upcoming academic year, the novels are said to have been removed. It is unclear whether any other books suffered the same fate.
This is not the first time that Harry Potter’s adventures have prompted a backlash from believers. Earlier this year, a Polish Catholic group, which calls itself the “SMS from Heaven Foundation”, posted photos of its priests burning books considered sacrilegious, including the instalments of British author J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series, which chronicle the fictional life of a young wizard who studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as he struggles against the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.
In Bulgaria ad Greece, the Orthodox Church has campaigned for banning the books. Schools in the United Arab Emirates banned the first novel of the series, The Philosopher's Stone, 17 years ago, arguing that it went against Islamic values.