09 March 2012

Something Stirring in the Archdiocese about the Girl Scouts?

Jennifer Brinker's story about the Archdiocese's acknowledgment of moral issues surrounding the activities of the Girl Scouts at the local, national and international level over at the St. Louis Review is an important one.  

First of all, it is topical and deals with issues of the morality of Catholic support of and participation in organizations that have mostly good aims but which have become entangled in the fight to undermine marriage and family.  

Secondly, it is sure to be controversial, as the Girl Scouts, like the Boy Scouts, have a venerable history in this country and have been targeted like animal hosts by parasitical movements whose aims are inimical to the groups' founding purposes.  Lots of people like the Girl Scouts, have been Girl Scouts, and have daughters who are Girl Scouts.  And don't forget the cookies, people.  If the general public expresses outrage that St. Patrick's Center was forced to disassociate from Hooter's for moral reasons, do you think they will gladly give up their Thin Mints or Samoas for any reason?  

Finally, as I commented over at the story's site, this situation is seemingly analogous to the Komen situation.  You have a charitable group with laudable aims.  There are local groups that do not have a direct affiliation with problematic groups, but whose activities and indirect monies support national and/or international groups that promote abortion, contraception and, in the case of the scouts, homosexuality.  In the Komen situation, the Archdiocese discouraged Catholics from participation and support.  Will they now warn off Catholics from the Girl Scouts, or banish them from their ubiquitous parish perches?  Tough decisions, indeed.  Backlash guaranteed, and the interplay between the activities of the local groups (not directly problematic), the national group (some problems) and the international umbrella group (moral cesspool) is not easy to explain.

And where does all that cookie money go?  For what is it used?

So, I give the Review credit for running the story at all.  It is not known as a hotbed of controversy.  So, though the story itself is but a cautious toe in the water (the headline is fairly noncommittal), even acknowledging the issue is a courageous first step.  I am anxious to see what the official stance of the Archdiocese will be, and just what it will do to enforce that stance.

From the full story:

Archdiocese addresses concerns with Girl Scouts

by Jennifer Brinker

Several reblossoming issues surrounding Girl Scouts and its connections to Planned Parenthood, among other concerns, have prompted archdiocesan officials to meet with local Girl Scout representatives.

Last month, Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice and Ann Lederman, director of the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Scouting, Msgr. John Borcic, executive director of the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate, and Father Tom Pastorius, Girl Scouts chaplain, met with Donna Martin, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, which serves nearly 55,000 girls in St. Louis City and 28 surrounding counties. The Feb. 23 meeting was the latest in a series of ongoing discussions the archdiocese has had with the local council.

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