Page 10, 1st March 1940

1st March 1940
Page 10

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Locations: Liverpool, New York


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-Says Priest Lecturer From Our Own Correspondent " MY QUARREL WITH THE OXFORD GROUPS, AND THERE

fore also with Moral Rearmament, is that they go too far and yet do not go far enough. They do not go far enough because though they may be approaches to God they are manmade approaches to God and not the God-made approaches to Himself which God has devised for man."

So said the Rev. Joseph Morgan, D.D., Ph.D., L.S.S., speaking under the auspices of the Catholic Truth Society in the Piston Hall, Liverpool, on Sunday last, on Moral Rearmament.

Dr. Morgan said that MRA owed its existence to the realisation of the profound truth that the present world crisis was fundamentally a moral one.

So, after a dinner in the House of Commons, a. manifesto was issued bearing the signatures of Earl Baldwin, Lord Desborough, Lord Milne and other notables proclaiming that " the real need of the day is moral and spiritual rearmament." That was profoundly true.

Once started, the movement speedily gained momentum, winning the allegiance of peers, Members of Parliament, athletes, trade union officials, industrialists and educationalists. There was a tremendous publicity campaign, followed by a tour of the United States, culminating in a mass-meeting at Madison Square Garden in New York, at which 12,000 people were present.

Bunny Austin, of Wimbledon and Davis Cup fame, edited a book of MRA statements which sold a quarter of a million copies in a couple of weeks and is now being translated into practically every known language.

A Fine Programme

The purpose of MRA was, in its own words:

"To keep the peace and make it permanent; to make the wealth and work of the world available to all, and for the exploitation of none; with peace and prosperity as our servants and not our masters, to build a new world, create a new culture, bring in the Golden Age."

That was a purpose and an aim with which everybody must be in complete sympathy.

All this was to be effected by bringing every single individual in every nation of the whole wide world to apply to himself the four great absolutes: "absolute purity, absolute honesty, alienWee love and absolute unselfishness.

"The point is: how is the moral rearmament of the individual to be

effected? Unfortunately, we are not told."

Though we were not told expressly how MRA was to work, nevertheless we were afforded one valuable clue. One of the prime movers of MRA was the famous Dr. Frank Buchman, founder of the Oxford Group Movement.

The lecturer stated that Dr. Buchman and his followers were impugning traditional Christianity. By implication, at least, they were branding traditional Christianity as a failure.

He could not help but regard the Oxford Group Movement, and its offspring MRA, as being the latest phase of bringing Christianity up to date.

Concluding his address, Dr. Morgan said that forces which were satanic and diabolical had been let loose upon the world and were wreaking havoc and devastation upon humanity, but he could not see how MRA was going to effect a cure.

The world certainly needed moral and spiritual rearmament, but that rearmament would come, if it ever did come like the benison of God over the whole wide world, not on lines devised by Dr. Buchman or any other man, but in the Nasty promulgated by Christ, not by Oxford Groups but by real Christianity.

" If the words of Christ mean anything at all, if Christ meant what He said and said what He meant, then the one hope for humanity lies in that Christian Church which Christ instituted to be the guide and mentor of humanity: the age-old, undying, unfailing, unyielding, Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church."

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