Books

Harry Potter removed from Tennessee Catholic school library

In an email obtained by The Tennessean, the Rev. Dan Reehil of Nashville's St. Edward Catholic School said he consulted exorcists in the U.S. and Rome who recommended removing the books.
The Harry Potter books and films continue to be popular. (CBC)

A Catholic school in Tennessee has removed the Harry Potter books from its library after the school's priest decided they could cause a reader to conjure evil spirits.

In an email obtained by The Tennessean, the Rev. Dan Reehil of Nashville's St. Edward Catholic School said he consulted exorcists in the U.S. and Rome who recommended removing the books.

Reehil wrote, "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."

Catholic Diocese of Nashville superintendent Rebecca Hammel said Reehil has the final say at his school.

Hammel said she thinks the books by J.K. Rowling are still on the shelves of other libraries in the diocese.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published by Bloomsbury on June 26, 1997. The book told the story of Harry Potter, who, on his 11th birthday, learns he is a wizard and has been accepted to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

In the two decades since the very first Harry Potter book was published, more than 500 million copies of books from the series have been sold around the world. The series has been translated into more than 80 languages.

After seven books, the Potter series ended, but fans' appetite never waned. The series has spawned three companion books, eight blockbuster films, a major theme park and the film series prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

A play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,  written by Jack Thorne, with help from Rowling and theatre director John Tiffany, premiered in London's West End in 2016 and opened on Broadway in 2018.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming to Toronto in 2020.

— with files from CBC Books.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.