US Conference of Catholic Bishops Launch Inquiry Into Girl Scouts
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched an official inquiry into Girls Scouts USA. At the end of March, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne wrote a letter expressing his concerns about the Girl Scouts relationship to groups that promote birth control and contraceptives, such as Sierra Club and Doctors Without Borders, and whether they are promoting birth control and contraceptives in their programming.
Although the Girl Scouts have confirmed that they have never taken a stance on birth control, contraceptives or abortion, if the Catholic Bishops believe that their programing shows otherwise, Girl Scout chapters may no longer be allowed to hold their meetings in Catholic churches.
According to the Washington Post, St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Chantilly, Virginia, banned 12 troops of 115 Girl Scouts from holding their meetings at the church. Some Girl Scouts have also reportedly had doors slammed in their faces over speculation that they endorse contraceptives and abortion.
Robert McCarty, the Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, published a website to help debunk the rumors about Girls Scouts. He says that the Girl Scouts have reviewed and changed some of their materials hoping to quiet the rumors and tensions with the Catholic Church.
The review of the Girl Scouts programs will be held by the Bishops’ committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
Media Resources: Washington Post 5/10/2012; National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts USA and Camp Fire USA; Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana