Though years have passed since the release of the last Harry Potter book, the series continues to be banned from school libraries. St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville, Tennessee has recently removed the beloved series from its collection.
"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception," Reverend Dan Reehil, a pastor at the Roman Catholic school, wrote in an 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."
All seven books in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series have been banned following Reehil's decision, which came after he consulted with numerous exorcists located in the United States and Rome.
The superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, Rebecca Hammel, confirmed that the Catholic Church does not have an official stance when it comes to the Harry Potter books. She stressed that the school's pastor has the final say in whether students would be able to read them.
"Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school," Hammel told Tennessian.com. "He's well within his authority to act in that manner."
The Harry Potter books are available for students in other school libraries throughout the diocese at the time of writing. She added that, ultimately, the Catholic Church viewed parents as their children's primary teachers.
"Should parents deem that this or any other media to be appropriate we would hope that they would just guide their sons and daughters to understand the content through the lens of our faith," she said. "We really don't get into censorship in such selections other than making sure that what we put in our school libraries is age appropriate materials for our classrooms."
Hammel stated that their goal is to "promote engaging, quality literature and an enjoyment of reading in hopes of building students' skills and knowledge."