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US Catholic school bans Harry Potter books over concern they can conjure ‘evil spirits’

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A Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee has banned the Harry Potter series because a reverend at the school claims the books include both good and evil magic, as well as spells, which, if read by a human can conjure “evil spirits,” the Tennessean reports.

The publication obtained an email from Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at Saint Edwards Catholic School parish, which was sent to parents. In the email, Reehil explains in the email that he has consulted several exorcists in the US and Rome, and it was recommended that the school remove the books,  according to the Tennessean.

These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Rev. Reehil says of the seven-part Harry Potter book series. “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 email continues.

Several US news outlets say they have been able to confirm that the that Rev Reehil did indeed send the email.

The pastor made the decision after receiving an inquiry from a parent, Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville told the Tennessean. While the Catholic Church does not have an official position on the magical book and movie series, “each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” according to Hammel says. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.”

The original Harry Potter books, written by J.K. Rowling, were published between 1997 and 2007. The eight Harry Potter films were released between 2001 and 2011. The franchise has also spurned an amusement park, a Broadway show, and several related works written by Rowling.

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