Bishop warns of dangers
A WARNING of the pitfalls and dangers for
Catholics who associate with Dr. Frank Bitchman's Moral Rearmament (or Oxford Group) move ment has been given by Bishop Francis Charriere, of Loosanne, Geneva and Fribourg.
The European headquarters of Moral Rearmament are situated in Bishop Charriere's diocese.
He made the statement in a message addressed to the clergy and laity of his diocese.
The issue, sass Bishop Cdtarriere, whom N.C.W,C. describes as " highly regarded not only in Switzerland, hut far beyond its borders," is "delicate."
He acknowledges that the Moral Rearmament groups make a serious attempt to overcome the discrepancies in the international and social field by urging men to mend their own faults before accusing others, and to accept the 'supreme authority of God.
No doubt, adds the Bishop, this method " has obtained excellent results." Nevertheless, the movement meets with considerable hesitation among Catholics because they are afraid that the desire to bring about unity through an integral interpretation of the Christian message may lead to the proclamation of " an ideal not giving sufficient consideration to essential questions such as the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the Church He has established and the Sacraments."
This the Bishop sees as " a dangerous pitfall," because the search for a common ground acceptable to all denominations should not lead to the abandonment of truths which are fundamental, but not commonly accepted.
A premature attempt al synthesis could only cause damage, distort the proper perspectives and confuse consciences, he says. Only if they " remain truly themselves" can Catholics make a worthwhile contribution toward the movement, the Bishop concluded. Bishop Charriere's message, which follows similar public pronouncements of Cardinal Flings, Archbishop of Cologne, is likely to have wide repercussions, Since the war sonic well-known Catholics of various nationalities have lent their support to the " Oxford " groups, white others have not concealed their misgivings, which now find official expression in authoritative pronouncements of the Church, It is reliably understood, says N.C.W.C., that they fully reflect the views of the Holy See,