A Catholic parochial school has drawn international media attention after its pastor, Father Dan Reehil, removed the Harry Potter series from its library, citing the concerns of several exorcists. Most of the reports have been negative and call out censorship. Reehil gives his reasons for removing the books:
These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. 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 use nefarious means to attain the goals of the characters, including the ‘good’ characters.[…]
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.
The fear of the Harry Potter series is deep within the Catholic right wing, Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) condemned them and an exorcist Father Amorth said:
Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.[…]
You start off with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likeable wizard, but you end up with the Devil. There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these books.
I find it remarkable that presumably well-educated men find it impossible to distinguish fact from fiction. To believe that the spells conjured up by J K Rowling are real seems to be the mindset of the demented.
Should the Harry Potter series be banned?
Is the Harry Potter series bad for children’s souls?
Do children (and adults) have souls?
The illustration is by William Blake. Triple Hecate. 1795.