Catholic School Removes ‘Harry Potter’ From Library, by Christine Rousselle

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In wake of removal, a priest and author weigh in.

By Christine Rousselle, CNA, 9/3/19

NASHVILLE — 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. A priest and a Catholic author talked with CNA about the series and the Catholic faith.

“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Father Dan Reehil, pastor at St. 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.

Father 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.”

Father Reehil told parents he made the decision to ban the books after consulting exorcists in both the United States and Rome.

St. Edward School teaches students in grades pre-K through eighth.

The Harry Potter books have been controversial since the first book was published in 1997. The American Library Association listed the 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. ….