CATHOLIC HERALD REPORTERS CHURCH and secular opinion in South Africa is divided over the British Council of Churches report, issued this week, which condemns apartheid as "a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" and asks the British Government to take practical steps to dissociate Britain from it.
The divisions among Church leaders do not follow denominational differences. Among Christians, some agree fully with the 172-page report; others agree in part, but think that some of its recommendations are weak;
a third group thinks it is altogether misconceived.
Though Catholics are not members of the British Council of Churches, there was an official Catholic observer—Fr. Gerard Meath, 0.P., Provincial of the Dominicans—attached to the working committee. There was also a Catholic layman on the committee—Dr. J. R. Gray, lecturer in the history department of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The report, entitled The Future of South Africa, repudiates the two alternativesthat have been offered in the past: first, the present practice of verbally condemning apartheid while continuing economic ties that in fact support it, and second, enforcing a full-scale economic blockade to cut South Africa off from international trade, which would result in an internal war involving United Nations and NATO forces.