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Rev Andrew Felix Morlion

Rev Andrew Felix Morlion

Birth
Belgium
Death 10 Dec 1987 (aged 82–83)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Pleasantville, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 8743424 · View Source
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Scholar, theologian, diplomat and social reformer. Born in Belgium, Father Morlion was an avowed atheist until the age of 21, at which time he converted to Catholicism and later became a Dominican priest. After studying philosophy, theology and engineering at the University of Louvain and spending several years at the Dominican Institute of Ghent, he joined the Dominican Order. In 1932 he founded the International Pro Deo Union (also known as the “United People’s Movement”) as an independent association to promote world ecumenism among young political, educational, cultural and religious leaders from every faith and nation. Until his death, this group published a monthly newsletter, “United People,” that circulated in 152 countries. During the Second World War, he was active in the European underground, helping Jews escape from Nazi Germany. After the Gestapo put a price of a million dollars on his head, he escaped Europe through Spain to New York, where he published a monthly letter of underground news. In 1945, with the support of Pope Pius XII, he founded and headed the International University of Social Studies in Rome and served five popes as their private emissary. Several of Italy’s prime ministers and other leaders graduated from the university, which served as a Mecca where young political, educational, cultural and religious leaders representing virtually every faith and nation studied and learned about each other’s countries and religions in the spirit of world ecumenicalism. Fr. Morlion also developed an interest in film and directed motion picture documentaries, including a TV series in the United States, “The American Youth Movement.” He also wrote scripts for the great Italian filmmakers, Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini. On hearing of his death, author and editor Norman Cousins described Father Morlion as “a peace broker who helped to widen the opportunities for dialogue between western democracies and east European countries, and to reduce tension between East and West. He was a study in perpetual motion, bringing ideas and projects before political and religious leaders in every land.” In his book “The Improbable Triumvirate,” Mr. Cousins disclosed that Father Morlion’s diplomacy helped bring about the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. He was instrumental in the release of Joseph Cardinal Slipyi of the Ukraine and Joseph Cardinal Behan of Czechoslovakia, and helped pave the way for the Kennedy-Khrushchev Test Ban Treaty. He worked behind the scenes to improve relations between France and Germany as well as China and the United States. In 1976, Father Morlion began devoting himself to a new organization, the International Committee of Human Relations for Peace. In recognition of his devoted service to mankind, Father Morlion was invited to the First Yoko Civilization International Conference at Takayama, Japan where on October 31, 1986 he spoke on the subject “The Calling of Mahikari For The Coming Spiritual Civilization.” At the time of his death in New York City following a series of heart attacks, his obituary described him as a “diplomatic trouble-shooter among leaders of the world for 50 years.”

Bio by: Warrick L. Barrett


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Warrick L. Barrett
  • Added: 11 May 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8743424
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Andrew Felix Morlion (1904–10 Dec 1987), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8743424, citing All Souls Cemetery, Pleasantville, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .