A group of 14 Roman Catholic bishops issued a statement this week calling for opposition to the MX missile, including reversing "the steps already taken toward deployment" of the weapon.
The group, which included Archbishop William Borders and Auxiliary Bishop P. Francis Murphy of Baltimore, and Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly of Louisville, based their objections on arguments developed in the pastoral letter on nuclear warfare adopted by the U.S. Catholic hierarchy last May.
Despite the shooting down of the South Korean airliner by the Soviets, which the bishops called a "heinous act," they said, "it is time to take steps, even independent initiatives, to break the spiral of nuclear competition."
Pleading that the arms race "must be reversed," the 14 bishops said they "believe that the production and deployment of the MX missile is an escalation of the arms race that is unwise, unjustified and will be counterproductive in our search for a truly secure future for our nation and the world."
They urged "other citizens and interested groups to resist the claim that the MX will contribute to arms control."
The Rev. Greg Dixon of Indianapolis resigned his post as national secretary for the Moral Majority in order to head the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches, a group newly formed to promote separation of church and state.
Dixon said the new group will fight to keep churches from registering with the government "under the guise of such benefits as certification, registration, accreditation, licensure, incorporation and not-for-profit status."
Dixon said he believes there is "a hidden government in America and it is coming out of the United Nations," with the goal of organizing a one-world socialist government hostile to God.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadel-phia is investigating charges of bid-rigging involving service contracts at parochial high schools.
An archdiocesan spokesman confirmed press reports that the investigation was under way into possible financial misconduct involving $3 million in contracts and said that "the loss to the church may be as high as $1 million."
The World Council of Churches has allocated $446,000 from its special Fund to Combat Racism, about 10 percent below last year's total.
As in past years, most of the money is going to black nationalist groups in southern Africa to oppose the apartheid regime of South Africa.
According to the council, the largest single amount, $105,000, will go to the Southwest Africa Peoples Organization, which is seeking to oust South Africa from Namibia. Terms of the grant stipulate that the money must be used for humanitarian purposes.
Money in the controversial fund, which critics of the council charge involves the ecumenical agency in violence and revolution, comes from special contributions and not from member church allocations.
The Rev. Shelby Rooks, former minister of Lincoln Temple here and current president of Chicago Theological Seminary, is slated to head the Board for Homeland Ministries of the United Church of Christ.
The Rev. James Vaughn, former assistant pastor at Riverside Baptist Church in Washington, will be installed Oct. 2 as pastor of Calverton Baptist Church in Silver Spring.