Last Wednesday afternoon Fr Andrew Byrne of Opus Dei came north to give an afternoon of recollection to diocesan priests. We met, as is now usual, in the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Sunderland. The Sisters gave us a warm welcome and tea and cakes afterwards. As is usual Father gave two talks with an interval for confessions afterwards. I was delighted to see that we had three new faces among the priests present. The first talk was on the role of Scripture in priestly life and prayer and the second was on the Communion of Saints. In the evening Father gave a talk to parishioners on `Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire` in which he explored the theme of friendship as depicted in the book. This was very well received by those who came and a discussion followed which included whether Harry Potter was a good thing given the criticisms made mostly by American Evangelicals. Father explained that while some books it is right to avoid he saw nothing sinister in the Harry Potter books. Unfortunately no-one who came for the talk had read anything other than the first book so Father had a lot of explaining to do as regards the characters and plot.
During the day I asked Father whether Ruth Kelly really is a member of Opus Dei! For more on the Ruth Kelly and Opus Dei angle see Fr John Boyle`s blog.