Catholic Archbishop Orders Parishes to ‘Strongly Consider’ Alternatives to Girl Scouts

By Michael W. Chapman | February 25, 2016 | 4:23pm EST

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, head

of the Catholic archdiocese of St.

Louis, Mo.  

(CNSNews.com) – Noting that Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) and its parent organization, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), promotes contraception, “abortion rights,” homosexuality, and other issues “incompatible” with Catholic values, the Archbishop of St. Louis, Mo., has ordered all the parishes in his archdiocese to review their Girl Scouts programs and “strongly consider” offering “alternative options for the formation of our girls.”

“Our primary obligation is to help our girls grow as women of God,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson in his Feb. 18 letter to priests, Scout leaders, and all Catholics in the archdiocese.

In the letter Archbishop Carlson notes that his archdiocese and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents all the Catholic bishops in the country, have investigated and raised concerns about some of the activities carried out by the GSUSA and the WAGGGS. 

Some of the concerns include:

-- WAGGGS’ continued promotion of contraception and “abortion rights” on behalf of its girl members, the majority of whom are minors.

-- GSUSA resources and social media highlight and promote role models in conflict with Catholic values, such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan.

Birth control pills.  (AP) 

-- Organizations that GSUSA promotes and partners with are in conflict with Catholic values, such as Amnesty International, Coalition for Adolescent Girls, OxFam and more. This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for “reproductive rights” (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors).

Further, “recent concerns about GSUSA and their position on and inclusion of transgender and homosexual issues are proving problematic,” said the archbishop. “Our culture is becoming increasingly intolerant of a Catholic worldview regarding these issues.”

In a related document, Scouting and the Catholic Church, on the archdiocese’s website, it notes that the GSUSA rejected a donation of $100,000 because the gift stipulated that the money “wouldn’t support transgender girls.”

In addition, “troops in Utah have recently been formed exclusively to reach out to transgendered youth,” said the archdiocese. Also, “internal policies in Girl Scouts has even suggested that some parents and troop leaders should not be informed if there is a transgender child in their troop.”

“Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has posted a ‘statement of inclusivity,’ explaining their policy on how to welcome a transgender child into your troop,” reads the document.

In addition, “on Instagram and Twitter, Girl Scouts recently celebrated the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage as one of their top moments of 2015,” states the archdiocesan document.

The Pieta by Michelangelo.  

“While Catholics are called to treat all people with compassion and mercy, we must at the same time be mindful of whom we allow to teach and form our youth and the messages they present,” said Archbishop Carlson. “Girl Scouts is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic  values.”

“Therefore, I am asking each pastor that allows Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property to conduct a meeting with troop leadership to review these concerns and discuss implementing alternative options for the formation of our girls,” said the archbishop.

“Several alternative organizations exist, many of which have a Catholic or Christian background,” he continued.  “For more information on each of these organizations and a more detailed listing of ongoing concerns, please visit http://archstl.org/scouting#options.”

“I ask that you carefully study each organization and strongly consider offering one of these programs in your parish instead of Girl Scouts,” said the archbishop.  He also noted, at the archdiocesan level,  “Effective immediately, I am disbanding the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts and instead forming a Catholic Committee for Girls Formation that will be charged with ministry to all girls in various organizations.”

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