Archdiocese: Parishes should seek alternatives to Girl Scouts - KMOV.com

Archdiocese: Parishes should seek alternatives to Girl Scouts

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Archbishop-designate Robert Carlson speaks at the press conference to announce his appointment to the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Tuesday, April 21, 2009 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) Archbishop-designate Robert Carlson speaks at the press conference to announce his appointment to the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Tuesday, April 21, 2009 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- In a letter addressed to priests, Girl Scout leaders, and all those within the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Archbishop Robert Carlson called for parishes to review concerns with scout leaders and discuss alternative options to the Girl Scouts. 

"Girl Scouts is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values," Carlson wrote in his letter. 

The letter continued saying the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have investigated concerns regarding the Girls Scouts of America for years. Their investigation also extended to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which is the parent group to the Girl Scouts. 

Some of the concerns he listed include the promotion of contraception and abortion rights on behalf of its female members, the financial contributions made on behalf of the parent group and Girl Scouts, and the promotion of organizations, Carlson said, are in conflict with the values of the Catholic church. 

According to Carlson, the Girl Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (GSEM) "have tried to downplay and distance themselves from these issues," even as the Archdiocese issued their concerns numerous times. 

Carlson wrote in his letter that the Girl Scouts inclusion and position on transgender and homosexual issues "are proving problematic." 

"Our culture is becoming increasingly intolerant of a Catholic worldview regarding these issues," Carlson wrote in his letter. "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." 

Effective immediately, Carlson said he is disbanding the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts. In its stead, the Catholic Committee for Girls Formation will operate with ministry to all girls within various organizations. 

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri later released a statement saying in part:

We were disappointed in the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ decision. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has enjoyed a history of cooperation with the Archdiocese of St. Louis for almost 100 years. In fact, an early religious scouting award—the Marian Award, which is one of the highest honors for Catholic girls— originated with our Council in 1957. Although we are a secular organization, we greatly value our longstanding partnerships with religious organizations across many faiths.....

The concerns expressed by the Archdiocese of St. Louis involve adult issues and are not appropriate to discuss with children. I hope the conversation is one that will remain between adults. Confrontations with our girls would be unacceptable. We find it highly disappointing that anyone would boycott Girl Scouts in an effort to further their agenda. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is a nonprofit organization with a nearly century-long history of providing girls with opportunities to build the skills they need to become our next generation of leaders. In eastern Missouri we serve over 43,000 girls with support from more than 15,000 adult volunteers.?...

We find it highly disappointing that anyone would boycott Girl Scouts in an effort to further their agenda. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is a nonprofit organization with a nearly century-long history of providing girls with opportunities to build the skills they need to become our next generation of leaders. In eastern Missouri we serve over 43,000 girls with support from more than 15,000 adult volunteers.

To read the entire statement, click here.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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