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Harry Potter books banned from US Catholic school

By Cian Molloy - 05 September, 2019

“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,” said Tennessee school chaplain Fr Dan Reehil.

A Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee, has made worldwide headlines after its board of management decided to ban the Harry Potter series of books by JK Rowling from the school’s library.

In an email seen by local newspaper The Tennessean, the school’s chaplain, Fr Dan Reehil, explains that the decision to ban the books was taken after he consulted with exorcists in the United States and in the Vatican.

The Harry Potter series, set in a fictional, modern-day world of wizards and witches, has been a global success, with more than 500 million copies of the 7 books in the series sold worldwide.

In addition to book sales, author JK Rowling earned income from movie rights for eight Hollywood blockbuster movies based on the books, plus licensing from Harry Potter related clothing and souvenirs. As a result, she is reckoned to be the first person to become a dollar-billionaire as a result of book writing.

Many teachers celebrate Rowling’s work for the way it inspires children to become active book readers. To appeal to boys, Rowling deliberately chose to use the initials JK on book covers, instead of her first name, Joanne, to disguise the fact that she was a female writer.

But Fr Reehil is unimpressed by these credentials. He said: “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 books also 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.”

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