It’s going to be one of those days isn’t it.
Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville, was so concerned about the heretical lessons that students could learn from the “Harry Potter” books that, on the advice of the exorcists he consulted, he purged the series from the school’s library reports The Washington Post & NewsChannel5 (via Variety).
The reasoning? In the e-mail the pastor reportedly says: “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.”
Reehil also claimed that the books “glorify acts of divination; of conjuring the dead, of casting spells among other acts that are an offense to the virtue of religion. [Readers] could be persuaded to believe these acts are perfectly fine, even good or spiritually healthy…. Books and other materials which present a possible threat to our faith will not be promoted by our church or school.”
While the novels about the coming-of-age of a young wizard have been kicked off school campuses in the past due to Satanism allegations, and even the subject of church-sponsored book burnings in the early 2000s, the choice here has garnered little support from the school community with parents sending a letter concerned about the priest’s ‘fringe views” and his “[ability to] critically assess and discern fact from fiction.” They also complained that the decision had been made unilaterally without input from parents or other school administrators.
The Catholic Church has not taken an official position on the “Harry Potter” series and so the school’s pastor has the authority to pull the books from its library shelves. Meanwhile the film franchise is continuing with the third spin-off film in the “Fantastic Beasts” series in the works for a 2021 release.