ANYONE who reads about the Moonies cannot fail to agree wholeheartedly with Mgr Michael Buckley April 24, where he reveals that not less than 20 per cent of Moonie converts are Catholics.
For some years now whilst doing my shopping in our local High Street I have been assailed by pleasant young women and men who have asked me to contribute tenpence for their leaflets.
Since I thought they were working for Christian unity on several occasions I bought one, later saying I could not give them any more money but approved of their aims. Only a year ago did a friend reveal the frightening truth that I had assisted the Moonies.
In spite of the Daily Mall's successful libel action against them, Moonies are still plying their wares in my High Street and inviting people to their meetings.
Outside the town they have been observed selling pot plants and on Palm Sunday a middle-aged English woman with ,a younger girl came to every house in our road selling Moonie leaflets. I thought they were Jehovah's Witnesses so did not answer the door but Catholics nearby bought a leaflat in all innocence. (The leaflets now cost twenty pence and are said to be for 'worldwide missions').
Mgr Buckley is quite right when he says we must take positive corporate action over this group.
All of us can pray about the Moonie menace and ask local councillors to ban their street soliciting. Those of us who have ever given a Moonie money can afford to give as much again to Mgr Buckley for his work among grieving parents: instructors to are required to go into churches and schools to warn of the dangers. Act today and write to Mgr Buckley pledging support for his call.
Name and address supplied MGR BUCKLEY has raised important points on the need for a truly Christian response to nonChristian religions both old and new. Perhaps the following quotes from Vatican 11 and the Pope's Encyclical give us direction.
Vatican II: "Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to NonChristian Religions".
"In her task of fostering unity and love among men, and even among nations, she (the Church) gives primary consideration in this document to what human beings have in common and to what promotes fellowship among them.
"Likewise other religions to be found everywhere strive variously to answer the restless searchings of the human heart by proposing 'ways'. which consist of teachings. rules of life and sacred ceremonies.
"The Church therefore has this exhortation for her sons: prudently and lovingly, through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of Christian faith and life. acknowledge. preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these men. as well as the values in their society and culture."
"General Principle of Religious Freedom".
"This Vatican Synod declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power. in such wise that in matters religious no one is forced to act in a mannner contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be retrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits: ' Finally here is from Pope John Paul II's first encyclical Redemptor Hominis. He calls for "activity for coming closer together with the representatives of the non-Christian religions, an activity expressed through dialogue. contacts, prayer in common, investigation of the treasures of human spirituality in which, as we know well, the members of those religions also are not lacking." (1978).
Mgr Buckley says "As a Church we have done little to understand, much less counteract, their (the Unification Church) insidious influence in our midst." One could say "Buckley is right. As a Church we should open up dialogue with minority religions both new and old." He essentially calls on the Catholic Church to take action against the Unification Church. But as far as I can see the Church should be supporting actions such as those of the already existing Society for Religious Peace. an interfaith group to which I belong, which seeks the Christian response 01 dialogue and tolerance.
Mgr Buckley talks about brainwashing. I am sure that this word would have been used against Christ himself by the Romans had they had it in their vocubulary. More recently (1749) even our fellow Christians the Nlethodists were similarly condemned. I quote from the treatise "The Enthusiasm of Methodists and Papists Conmared." "The Methodists were hair-brained Enthusiasts and crafty Imposters who worked upon the Passions of weak. credulous, or distempered people." am sure Mgr Buckley's intentions are good but one cannot help but hear an echo of Inquisition in his article. Rev Victor J. Camilleri OEM Community Relations Officer (Tower Hamlets)