Girls Scouts of the USA are facing an official inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over concerns regarding potentially offensive program material in addition to assertions that the Girl Scouts are associated with groups whose stances conflict with the teachings of the Catholic church.
The Scouts have numerous troops sponsored by various parishes and have denied the claims while defending their many alliances.
Last year, a 7-year-old transgender, born a boy and being raised a girl, was accepted into a Colorado troop. The acceptance of the young child angered some conservatives.
Catholic critics have raised concerns regarding a partnership between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. The Girl Scouts’ head office has denied the claim on numerous occasions as they’ve clearly indicated that no such partnership exists. Additionally, the scouts have stated that they take no position on sexuality, abortion, and birth control.
Girl Scouts’ director of inclusive membership strategies, Gladys Padro-Soler, was quoted by Y! News having said:
“It’s been hard to get the message out there as to what is true when distortions get repeated over and over.”
The inquiry by Catholic Bishops, which was timed perfectly to coincide with the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary celebrations, will examine “possible problematic relationships with other organizations” as well as a variety of “problematic” program materials, according to a letter sent by Bishop Kevin Rhoades to his fellow bishops. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press, but no additional commentary was made available.
The Girl Scouts have estimated that 25% of their 2.3 million members (575,000) are Catholic. This is down from a peak of 3 million which occurred decades ago.
Michelle Tompkins, the spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, was quoted having said:
“I know we’re a big part of the culture wars. People use our good name to advance their own agenda. For us, there’s an overarching sadness to it. We’re just trying to further girls’ leadership.”
What are your thoughts on the Catholic Bishops’ inquiry into the Girl Scouts?