RESEARCH INTO SOCIAL ACTION
By a Special Correspondent N the combined initiative of the Catholic Church and the Geneva Secretariat of the World Council of Churches, a programme of scientific research has been launched into the Christian Churches' influence on the development of backward countries.
Special attention will he paid to the fields of education, medicine and ecnnMunity development. The programme will be conducted by Fr, Hootart, Director of the Brussels branch of the International Federation for Social and Sado-Religious Research, and Professor Fehert De Vries, Director of the International institute for social studies at The Hague. The Ford Foundation has offered 100,000 dollars towards the firse leg of the project.
The need for research is felt keenly in Rome and Geneva alike, as the social constellation of the e pert countries is swiftly ;111111:11 trav hieirociit(g' hly changing.
This means that the Church must serve new needs. employ new techniques. and possibly make a funtianiental alteration in her Methods in the mission territories.
The International Institute of Social Studies points out that the rule of the governments in these commies has changed, and in a number of countries the importaime of Christian institutions has grown. The first phase in Fr. Houtart's programme will comprise a systematic analysis of the documentation available on the Churches'
social in backward countries, The next step will he to examine on the spot the efficiency of the Churches' activities, and in this Catholics and Protestants are to work closely together.