FR HERBERT McCabe, the Dominican from Blackfriars Priory in Oxford, has refused an invitation from the Unification Church, known as the Moonies, to attend an expenses paid conference.
Another British academic to refuse an invitation was Dr Anthony Kenny, Master of Balliol College, Oxford,. and a former Catholic priest. But Professor John Macquarrie, the Christ Church Anglican theologian has accepted the offer of a trip to a Moonie conference in Hawaii.
Fr McCabe said this week: "I turned down the invitation for the same reasons that nearly everyone else has refused them. I don't think the Moonies are a good thing. I think they have a bad effect on people.
"My invitation did have the name Unification Church on in small type. I wouldn't be prepared to attend any of their conferences. I think the thing in Hawaii is essentially a bid for respectability. There may be worse organisations — the British Movement or the National Front for example — but I do not want to support them."
It is know that Professor Macquarrie's acceptance is an embarrassment to his colleagues, though some have explicitly stated that, of course, he is free to do as he wishes. Dr Kenny said: "I am sorry to see some of my colleagues accepting these invitations.