THE Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) is "abusing the title 'Catholic' to make Left Propaganda" and is "beating the guerrilla war drums of the World Council of Churches" according to John Biggs-Davison, Conservative M.P. for Epping.
Mr BiggsDavison, Chairman of the ultra conservative Monday Club, has announced in a letter to the Daily Telegraph that he is seeking support to stop the annual grant of £2,500 to CI1R from the National Catholic Fund because it has published a pamphlet by Rev Adrian Hastings called 'Southern Africa and the Christian Conscience' which calls the South African Government's policy of detente a sham.
Mr Riggs-Davison, a Catholic, said, "Southern Africa is a very important issue for Catholics in this country but they should be free to make up their own minds about it and not have one particular point of view financed by official Catholic sources."
"It is quite wrong that Catholics should be directly contributing to CIIR," Mr Biggs-Davison said.
The National Catholic Fund, the treasury of the Bishops' Conference, which supports CIIR, is due to raise £140,000 this year for the Commissions and other national Catholic organisations by a levy on each diocese.
Bishop Worlock of Portsmouth, Chairman of the finance committee, said that it was not its role to act as a policy making body.
"The task of the finance committee" Bishop Warlock said, "is to apportion the resources in accordance with the Bishops' decisions and in accordance with the needs made known to it and the amount of money available."
In a speech to the Annual General Meeting of the CIIR in 1974, the late Cardinal Heenan spoke of "a number of Catholic figures including members of parliament who had protested to him that Catholic money was going to CUR, which was an utterly Left Wing Organisation."
The Cardinal asked Mildred Nevile, General Secretary of CIIR to reply to these. criticisms.
Miss Nevile wrote back to the Cardinal and "challenged those critics to point out where CIIR had got things wrong and where it had claimed to be the
voice of the Catholic Church in this country." The Cardinal told the CIIR members that he had read out Miss Nevile's letter at the Bishops' Conference. "Nem Con the Bishops supported the CIIR. It is an excellent thing that this organisation should exist which can say what it likes and can give a Catholic point of view, and then it is up to a bishop if he thinks it is not the Catholic point of view to denounce them," Cardinal Heenan said.
In the pamphlet Fr Hastings discusses the liberation movements and World Council of Churches' support for them. "The central Christian tradition in the West has long accepted the possibility of justified rebellion, and when a very poor and oppressed group finally reacts to institutional violence it clearly needs sup' port of a humanitarian kind."
Fr Hastings says he finds it amazing that anyone should condemn the giving of such aid, but also adds the "not every socalled liberation movement deserves support."