Washington D.C., Sep 3, 2019 / 14:05 pm
A Catholic elementary school in Nashville has banned the seven books of the Harry Potter series due to concerns the books promote witchcraft and black magic. An exorcist and a Catholic author talked with CNA about the Harry Potter books and the Catholic faith.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Fr. Dan Reehil, pastor at Saint Edward School in Nashville, said to parents in an Aug. 28 email.
“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,” the priest added.
Reehil said 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 — to the love and respect we owe to God alone. Many reading these books could be persuaded to believe these acts are perfectly fine, even good or spiritually healthy.”
Reehil told parents he made the decision to ban the books after consulting exorcists in both the United States and Rome.
Saint Edward teaches students from pre-K through eighth grade.
The Harry Potter books have been controversial since the first book was published in 1997. The American Library Association listed the Harry Potter series as its first-most challenged books in 2001 and 2002. The books were challenged due to claims of being “anti-family,” containing “occult/satanism” content, and violence.
Series author J.K. Rowling has rejected the idea that her books contain anti-Christian messages. In a 2007 interview, the author said that she believed there were parallels between the series’ title character, Harry Potter, and Jesus Christ.