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Methodist Study Clears Church Council of Revolutionary Ties

April 18, 1987|Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A special committee of United Methodist bishops says a three-year examination of the National Council of Churches finds it healthy, strong and making "a vital contribution to our total Christian witness."

The inquiry was authorized by the denomination's bishops in early 1984 after charges were made in the Reader's Digest and on CBS' "60 Minutes" that the National and World Councils of Churches supported left-wing revolutions in Africa.

The Methodist committee concluded that the denomination's contributions to the World Council "are handled according to our desires and commitments" and that contributions to the National Council are used responsibility and effectively.

Noting that designated contributions to the World Council's Fund to Combat Racism are made by some European governments, individuals and denominations, the committee said the council has procedures to ensure that the funds go for humane purposes and not to purchase arms or for violence.

The bishops said they are confident that the council has been "conscientious about this matter and believe that structural changes relating to procedure have effectively overcome some earlier criticisms and concerns."

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