Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

God Loves the Girl Scouts

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

God Loves the Girl Scouts

Article excerpt

"As Catholic organizations we congratulate the Girl Scouts on their 100th year anniversary and thank them for modeling the best of what girls can be: strong, bold, value-based young women." Thus begins what at first glance, I guess, must be a rather routine press release coming into my email inbox. One group congratulating another for its years of service or an anniversary or some other special occasion: I get them all the time.

The next line was, therefore, a shocker: "What a shame that Catholic officials cannot see these young women for the gift they are to the church and world." What?

The U.S. bishops' conference is investigating (an apostolic visitation, perhaps?) the Girl Scouts. (See Page 15) What? Apparently this has been going on for two years and was discussed at a mid-March meeting of the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. (See the story on our website: NCRonline.org/ node/30165.)

Do you see a pattern emerging here? First they came for the women religious, then they came for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, then they came for St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, and now the Girl Scouts. Am I reading too much into this?

"There had been some complaints about the Scouts, and the bishops couldn't turn a deaf ear," Mercy Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bishops, told The Washington Post. "So they want to know, what's the story?"

I'll tell you what the story is. The problem is clearly stated in the Girl Scout mission: "Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place." I bet those courageous, confident girls also learn to think for themselves and ask questions. I bet some of them learn leadership skills. That can't be good.

Most galling though is the source of the complaints Walsh cites. Who is making these complaints? Where are they coming from? …

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