St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville has removed all seven volumes of Harry Potter books from their library.
According to the Nashville Tennessean, the Roman Catholic parish school removed J.K. Rowling’s popular fantasy series due to its content.
School pastor Rev. Dan Reehil released a statement to the outlet saying that the decision was made after consultation with a number of exorcists in Rome, as well as in the US.
Reehil added that all of them recommended him to remove the books.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Reehil said in his statement, the Nashville Tennessean reports.
“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.”
Speaking to the Nashville Tennessean, Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, said Reehil has the authority to decide which books should stay in St. Edward – which educates students in pre-K through 8th grade.
“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school. He’s well within his authority to act in that manner,” Hammel said.
“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,” she added.
“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.”
It’s not the first time the Harry Potter books have been banned from a school.
The fantasy series, which was published from 1997 to 2007 and was converted into a successful movie franchise, has repeatedly stirred controversy in the past.
The Harry Potter books remained the most challenged books in 1999 and 2000, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), the Publisher’s Weekly reports.
The outlet adds that the books were slammed for their “alleged occult/Satanic and anti-family themes, and violence.”
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