Choose a topic from Vol 2:


Proof of God's existence
God's nature
Supreme control over all things and the problem of suffering and evil


Destiny of man
Immortality of man's soul
Pre-existence denied
The human free will
Determinism absurd


Necessity of religion
Salvation of the soul
Voice of science
Religious racketeers
Divine revelation
Revealed mysteries
Existence of miracles

The Religion of the Bible

Gospels historical
Missing Books of the Bible
The Bible inspired
Biblical account of creation
New Testament problems
Supposed contradictions in Sacred Scripture

The Christian Faith

Source of Christian teaching
Jewish rejection of Christ
Christianity a new religion
Rational foundation for belief
Causes of unbelief

A Definite Christian Faith

Divisions amongst Christians
Schisms unjustified
Facing the problem
The wrong approach
Is one religion as good as another?
Obligation of inquiry
Charity and tolerance

The Protestant Reformation

Meaning of "Protestant"
Causes of the Reformation
Catholic reaction
Reformers mistaken
The idealization of Protestantism
The Catholic estimate

The Truth of Catholicism

Meaning of the word "Church"
Origin of the Church
The Catholic claim
The Roman hierarchy
The Pope
The Petrine text
St. Peter's supremacy
St. Peter in Rome
Temporal power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolicity of the Church
Indefectibility of the Church
Obligation to be a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic attitude towards the Bible
Is Bible reading forbidden to Catholics?
Protestant Bibles
The Catholic Douay Version
Principle of private interpretation
Need of Tradition
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church

The Dogmas of the Church

Revolt against dogma
Value of a Creed
The divine gift of Faith
Faith and reason
The "Dark Ages"
The claims of science
The Holy Trinity
Creation and evolution
Grace and salvation
The Sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
The Catholic Priesthood
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
The resurrection of the body
The end of the world

The Church and Her Moral Teachings

The Inquisition
Other superstitions
Attendance at Mass
Sex education
Attitude to "Free Love"

The Church in Her Worship

Magnificent edifices
Lavish ritual
Women in Church
Catholics and "Mother's Day"
Liturgical Days
Burial rites
Candles and votive lamps
The rosary
Lourdes water
The Scapular

The Church and Social Welfare

Social influence of the Church
The education question
The Church and world distress
Catholic attitude towards Capitalism
The remedy for social ills
Communism condemned
The Fascist State
Morality of war
May individuals become soldiers?
The Church and peace
Capital punishment
Catholic Action

Comparative Study of Non-Catholic Denominations

Defections from the Catholic Church
Coptic Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Anglican Episcopal Church
The "Free" or "Nonconformist" Churches
Church of Christ
Seventh Day Adventists
Plymouth Brethren
Catholic Apostolic Church or Irvingites
Salvation Army
Christian Science
British Israelism
Liberal Catholics
Witnesses of Jehovah
Buchmanism or the "Oxford Group Movement"
From Protestantism to Catholicism

To and From Rome

Conversion of Cardinal Newman
Why Gladstone refrained
The peculiar case of Lord Halifax
Gibbon the historian
Secession of Father Chiniquy
Father Tyrrell, the modernist
Bishop Garrett's departure
Judgment on lapsed Catholics
Protestant apathy towards conversion of Catholics
Principles for converts to Catholicism
God's will that all should become Catholics

Buchmanism or the "Oxford Group Movement"

1375. I have been asked to join the Group Movementfor the discussion of religion and the sharing of problems. Couldyou tell me something about this Movement?

Members of the "Oxford Group Movement" go in for whatthey call "Life-changing," or rapid emotionalconversions. Small groups meet together and share out theirpersonal and individual religious experiences, even to publicconfession of secret sins. Each is expected to be guided by theHoly Spirit in future conduct, and to aim at "a maximumexperience of God." The movement is really a new form ofQuakerism, with a few additions invented by the founder, FrankBuchman.

1376. Could you give me something of itshistory?

It is American in origin, having been started at Princeton, NewJersey, by the Rev. Frank Buchman, a Lutheran minister, in 1909.Frank Buchman was ordained as a Lutheran minister when he was 24years of age. After four years of the ministry, he resigned fromthe American Lutheran Church, and went to England. There, one day,he went into a small Pentecostal Church during a service, and hearda woman preacher addressing a congregation of about 17 people.During the lady's discourse, he felt a wave of strong emotionwelling up within him, and experienced a "very mightychange" in himself. After that he found that he had an uncannyand half-hypnotic influence over young men. He went back toAmerica, and became a Y. M. C. A. secretary for a time. But, beforelong, he began experimenting as a "Life-changer," workingamong groups of young people for rapid, emotional, revivalistconversions. This he accomplished at what he called "HouseParties" rather than revivalist meetings. The movement wassuppressed in Princeton because it led to immoral excesses andfanaticism. Buchman went back to England with some Americanconverts, and in 1921 began revivalist "House Parties" atCambridge. The movement was then simply called"Buchmanism"; but later the name was changed to the"First Century Christian Fellowship." Buchman thenconducted similar "House Parties" at Oxford, and in 1928shrewdly took the name "Oxford Group Movement," knowing that the publicity and reflectedglory of Oxford, and association with the reputation of the famousOxford Movement, would be no disadvantage.

1377. What is meant by "Life-changing"?

"Life-changing" consists in stimulating or receiving anew surge of religious sentiment, which gives the conviction thatwhereas you were a sinner you have become good, and that henceforthyou will be able to remain good. It is a purely natural excitationwhich Mahometans, Hindoos, Buddhists, or any others couldexperience, and which has no necessary connection withChristianity. Where the old Revivalists asked, "Brother, areyou saved?" Buchmanism asks, "Brother, are youchanged?''

1378. What is "Sharing"?

"Sharing" is a kind of public confession ofreligious experiences and past sins. It is a form of communitypsycho-analysis. Not contrition, but "hilarity" isexpected to accompany the admission of how far one has dared to goin iniquity. In a leading article the London "Times"rightly remarked that this "hawking" of past sins willtend to pride and boasting in the sharer whilst besmirching theminds of the listeners.

1379. What do "Groupers" mean by"Guidance"?

"Guidance" is an emptying of the mind and a waitingfor an impulse from God. Frank Buchman says that such"guidance is available at every moment." But the scopefor self-deception is immense. There is no test as to whether theimpulse really comes from God or not. Frank Buchman says thatindividual ideas must be submitted to the "Group" forguidance and direction. But the "Group" is no safer as aguide than the individual. The following of blind impulses can ruinone's character, and make people creatures of every caprice andstray inclination. One "Grouper" publicly declared thatshe received "Divine Guidance" to get sausages fordinner! The Holy Spirit is Wisdom itself, and He does not stultifyHimself, nor contradict Himself. He is not in any movement whichwould drag Christianity into disrepute, and even drag people fromChristianity.

1380. I must say that I believe in the "FourAbsolutes" as advocated by the Oxford Group.

No one could disagree with the ideal that one should beabsolutely truthful, or honest, or pure, and so on, with all theChristian virtues. That is but an application of Christ'sappeal that we should be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.However, it is not necessary to go to Buchmanism to learn that oneshould aim at perfection of life. It must be noted, too, that toprofess belief in absolute standards is not to prove that one hasattained them. Human nature being what it is, many will always fallshort of their ideals. In fact, the majority of men will, and it isfor the majority that provision must be made. Christ came to save,not the just, but sinners. And the Catholic Church makes room forboth saints and sinners, cherishing the former, and laboring toconvert the latter. She is not a select society for those only whocan qualify by a complete and revolutionary change overnight intosaints.

1381. Especially I admire the doctrine ofrestitution in part, if not in full.

Why "in part"? If harm has been done to others,restitution must be made in full. And until it has been made, theobligation remains. That, at least, is the Catholic doctrine.

1382. This is better than the Catholic way of sayingcertain prayers to get forgiveness.

That is not the Catholic way. A Catholic must be genuinely sorryfor his sins against God's laws, confess them to a priest, makereparation to God by saying certain appointed prayers in apenitential spirit, and repair whatever harm his sins may havecaused to his neighbor. The restitution idea which you havediscovered in the Group Movement has been known and applied inCatholic theology for all the centuries of its existence.

1383. What do you think of the "Oxford GroupMovement"?

It is a movement which every professing Christian shouldabsolutely reject. Firstly, it violates its own principle ofabsolute honesty by its very title. It has no real connection withOxford, and it is not honest to trade upon a similarity of sound ina title so closely resembling the "Oxford Movement."Oxford University is proud of the real Oxford Movement. Itrepudiates the "Oxford Groupers." Turning to its owninherent characteristics, it fails by default from the Christianpoint of view. One could be a "Grouper," yet not be aChristian at all. The Group imposes no doctrinal standards. Inpractice it preaches not the Way of the Cross, but "the joy,the thrill, and the fun" of a new religious experience. AnAmerican paper called the "New Yorker" defined theMovement as "a form of evangelism which combines theadvantages of mysticism, mesmerism, spiritualism, eroticism,psychoanalysis, and high-power salesmanship." It plays withreligion as with a new toy. We are told that Buchman himself is"a piece of divinity hungering and thirsting forexpression"; that the word to pray consists of fourletters-P-R-A-Y-and that these letters mean, "PowerfulRadiograms Always Yours." Even the holy name of Jesus is notfree from this grotesque mockery. J-E-S-U-S has been discovered tomean, "Just Exactly Suits Us Sinners." The element ofirreverence is clear to those who have some understanding of whatthe Christian revelation really is. The Rev. C. M. Chavasse, anAnglican lecturer at Oxford says, "We are filled with gravemisgivings about this cult, which we have watched closely for fiveyears; and our misgivings are shared by practically all religiousleaders and responsible persons in the University."

1384. Are the laws of the Catholic Church opposed tothe Group Movement?

Yes. It is essentially a religious, yet a non-Catholic sect; andno Catholic may join it. Did a Catholic do so, he would be regardedby the Catholic Church as having joined a heretical sect, an actwhich carries with it excommunication from the Catholic Church.

1385. But the Oxford Group forbids sectarianism.

You ignore the primary meaning of the word sectarian, and fallback on a secondary meaning adapted to the viewpoint of the Group.The Groupers profess to welcome all, no matter to what Church eachmay belong. But in reality the Group is a religious societyclaiming that it not only does not matter to what Church youbelong, but that it does not matter whether you belong to one atall. Dr. Buchman tells us that it would be quite sufficient tobelong to his movement alone. Now if the Group is sufficient initself as a substitute for other religions, it is already areligion; and it is not the Catholic religion. It must therefore beranked as another Protestant sect, even though the members may saythat they do not wish to "feel" in any sectarian way.

1386. It does not ask a man to change his religion.It does ask a man to allow his religion to change him.

That is a clever turn of speech; but it is not true. And whereCatholics are concerned it is an impossibility if one is to be alsoa Grouper. If the Group seeks recruits from among Catholics it asksthose Catholics to change their religion. For they would findthemselves cut off from the Catholic Church in order to embraceBuchmanism! If a Catholic allowed his religion to change him hewould cease being careless and become fervent. But the ferventpractice of his religion would compel him to wash his handsaltogether of the religious meetings of the Group. The Group isdestructive of all true faith in Christ and substitutes a vaguereligious emotionalism. The truth revealed by our Lord is ignoredor despised; the Mass is regarded as worthless, and the Sacramentsas unnecessary. The authority vested by Christ in the CatholicChurch is not acknowledged, and private judgment reigns supremeunder the pretentious claim that it is Divine Guidance receivedfrom the Holy Spirit. The "Oxford Group Movement" is thevery essence of Protestantism stripped of all definite statementsof doctrine or creed.

1387. The "Oxford Groupers'" referrepeatedly to the fact that Catholics belong to it.

Enthusiasts are given to exaggerated statements based upon whatthey would like to be true. The claim that Catholics belong to theGroup is not justified. There is not an instructed Catholic in theworld who does not know that active participation in non-Catholicreligious movements is strictly forbidden by the Catholic Church. ACatholic who would join the Oxford Group would either be veryignorant of his own religious obligations, or else would beconsciously renouncing his Catholic Faith.



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