Page 10, 10th November 1978

10th November 1978
Page 10
Page 10, 10th November 1978 — Church's 'left-wing trends' attacked

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Church's 'left-wing trends' attacked

The close identification of all the churches, and particularly the World Council of Churches, with left-wing political movements means that Christianity can no longer be seen as one of the strongest checks to the advance of Communism.

Instead it is "among the leading influences making for the demoralisation of received western values throughout the world."

That is the theme behind the second of Dr Edward Norman's Reith Lectures delivered on BBC radio 4 on Wednesday. Dr Norman said that the readiness of Christian opinion to follow the diagnosis of world issues put forward by left-wing political agencies was amply shown by the response to the Chilean coup which overthrew the Marxist government of Salvador Allende in 1973.

Then, alleged Dr Norman, the WCC moved rapidly to organise relief aid for 15,000 'Communist activists" from different parts of Latin America who were expelled from Chile. It had since accepted the propaganda version of Chile as "the worst type of fascist dictatorship."

The churches' response to secular political ideologies had meant that for the first time ever no big differences existed in their respective social priorities, he said. While the Vatican was "the most restrained and generalised in its pronouncements", individual Catholic hierarchies had produced "really far-reaching political statements." But the most detailed application of contemporary political doctrines had come from the WCC, he claimed.

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