Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head
of the Catholic archdiocese of
Kansas City, Kansas.
(CNSNews.com) -- Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann announced on May 1 that the Catholic churches in his archdiocese would be transitioning away from the secularist Girl Scouts to the Christian-based American Heritage Girls, citing in part the national Girl Scouts' support for the international Girl Scouts, which is tied to Planned Parenthood, which promotes contraception and abortion.
Archbishop Naumann also noted the Girl Scouts' promotion as role models the eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, as well as the radical feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.
"Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care," said the archbishop in a May 1 statement. "We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith."
"With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel," said Archbishop Naumann.
"The national organization, for example, contributes more than a million dollars each year to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), an organization tied to International Planned Parenthood and its advocacy for legislation that includes both contraception and abortion as preventive health care for women," he said.
"Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently held up in materials as role models for young Scouts," said the archbishop. "These as well as many other 'role models' in the GSUSA’s new manuals and web content not only do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe."
Consequently, the archbishop has directed his priests and lay workers to start transitioning from the Girl Scouts. Different parishes, churches, and schools may abruptly end all work with the Girl Scouts or slowly transition out as young women graduate from the program.
About 205,000 Catholics live in the archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. There are 120 parishes in the archdiocese and seven high schools.
The alternative formation group being offered in the archdiocese is the American Heritage Girls, which is described as "the premier national character development organization for girls 5-18 that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement." (See video.) Their mission reads, "Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country."
American Heritage Girls' programs for kindergartners must be in place for the fall 2017 at parishes, said the archbishop.
In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Naumann said, "While I am grateful that offensive and completely age-inappropriate material was recently removed by GSUSA from portions of their Journey series of manuals in response to concerns raised by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and others, it is disturbing such an intervention on our part was necessary."
"We prefer to partner with youth organizations that share our values and vision for youth ministry," he said, "not ones that we have to monitor constantly to protect our children from being misled and misinformed."
Radical feminist Gloria Steinem. (Photo: LifeNews/Shethepeople.tv)
"On a final note, I want to express my appreciation for the many extraordinary Girl Scout leaders of the archdiocese who have served so many so well," said the archbishop. "We look forward to having as many of them as are willing join us in leadership roles as we take this new step into the formation of our girls. I will always be grateful for their exceptional service."
For more information on the archdiocese's decision, a 10-year-long process, see here.