×

Harry Potter Books Removed at Nashville Catholic School

The long-beloved Harry Potter books have been yanked from the library shelves of St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville, evidently for fear that students will conjure “evil spirits” upon reading the wizard-centric series.

The Rev. Dan Reehil laid out his objections to the books in an email obtained by the Tennessean.

“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true,” the e-mail reads. “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 texts.”

It’s not just the books’ magical properties; he also claimed the misadventures of Harry Potter and his friends “promote a Machiavellian approach to achieving the ends they desire.”

Reehil’s decision to remove the books from circulation came on the recommendations of exorcists in United States and Rome, according to the e-mail.

St. Edward Catholic School, which is a K-8, isn’t the first to purge the series. The American Library Association in a 2000-2009 survey named the “Harry Potter” series the most banned book in the United States, primarily for religious reasons.

Popular on Variety

Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, said Reehil is “well within his authority to act in that manner.”

“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” she said.

Hammel said the books have been pulled from a new library, but believes they still remain in other school libraries throughout the diocese. She said students are still allowed to read the books on school grounds, reported CNN.

Hammel said ultimately the decision over whether children should read the books lies with parents rather than the Catholic Church. She said, “While the Catholic Church has expressed no formal position on the books and related movies, many voices in the Church, even at higher levels, have expressed that the subject matter may be appropriate when due consideration is given to the maturity of the reader. We leave these decisions to you [the parents] as your children’s primary educator.”

More Film

  • Saweetie62nd Annual Grammy Awards, Arrivals, Los

    When 'Birds of Prey' Came Calling, 'I Passed Out,' Says Saweetie

    “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” the R-rated girl gang-driven comic book actioner starring Margot Robbie and directed by Cathy Yan, bows in theaters Feb. 7 — the same date its equally female-driven soundtrack drops. And the latter even has its own trailer.  The film’s playlist includes tracks by Megan [...]

  • The Evening Hour

    'The Evening Hour': Film Review

    A small town already down on its luck receives a few fresh kicks in “The Evening Hour.” Based on Carter Sickels’ 2012 novel, this second narrative feature from director Braden King is more plot-driven than his first, 2011’s “Here,” a leisurely and slight, if pleasant, road-trip romance. Indeed, there may be a little more content [...]

  • Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah,

    'Farewell Amor': Film Review

    There are small, telling differences in the way each of the three long-separated main characters in “Farewell Amor” remembers the day of their reunion. Standing at JFK, awkwardly clutching a bunch of flowers to give to the wife and child he has not seen in 17 years, Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine from “The Chi”), [...]

  • 'The Father': Anthony Hopkins Gives a

    'The Father': Film Review

    There have been some good dramas about people sliding into dementia, like “Away From Her” and “Still Alice,” but I confess I almost always have a problem with them. As the person at the center of the movie begins to recede from her adult children, from the larger world, and from herself, he or she [...]

  • The Last Thing He Wanted Sundance

    Anne Hathaway, Rosie Perez on Bringing Joan Didion to the Big Screen

    After “Pariah” and “Mudbound,” director Dee Rees returns to the Sundance Film Festival with her next feature, “The Last Thing He Wanted,” a political thriller based on a 1996 Joan Didion novel. The adapted screenplay follows a reporter named Elena McMahon (Anne Hathaway) and her photojournalist friend (Rosie Perez) as they chase a complicated story [...]

  • Ana Gasteyer to Host WGA Awards

    Film News Roundup: Ana Gasteyer to Host WGA Awards

    In today’s film news roundup, the PGA selects a site for its Produced By Conference, Ana Gasteyer is hosting the WGA Awards, and Docu-Day is set for Feb. 8. PGA CONFERENCE The Producers Guild of America will hold its 12th annual Produced By Conference on June 6-7 at Fox Studio Lot in Los Angeles. The [...]

  • 'Welcome to Chechnya' Review: LGBT Survivors

    'Welcome to Chechnya': Film Review

    You can do anything with a face on screen these days, whether it’s shaving decades off with a digital scalpel or deepfaking it into unrecognizable oblivion. Usually this wizardry has the air of a stunt, a transformation pulled off merely because it’s possible. Never, however, have such effects proven as chillingly essential as they are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content