The Archbishop Of Saint Louis Claims Girl Scouts, And Their Cookies, Are Promoting Homosexuality

The Archbishop of Saint Louis has a problem with you buying Girl Scout cookies: namely, that doing so supports an organization whose beliefs about homosexuality, transgender rights, and other social issues are at odds with Catholic teaching.

As the New York Times reports, Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of the Diocese of Saint Louis, sent a letter to priests, scout leaders, and the estimated 515,000 Catholics within the Saint Louis Archdiocese, laying out his concerns about the Girl Scouts.

Saint Louis Girl Scouts
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. [Image courtesy of Artist via Wikimedia Commons by Public Domain]

In the letter, which was published on the Archdiocese’s website and which you can read here, Carlson lays out why he believes Catholics should think twice about letting their daughters join the Girl Scouts, or even buy Girl Scout cookies.

  • “[The Girls Scouts’] continued promotion of contraception and ‘abortion rights’ on behalf of its girl
    members, the majority of whom are minors.”
  • “[The Girl Scouts’] resources and social media highlight and promote role models in conflict with
    Catholic values, such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan.”
  • “Organizations that [Girl Scouts] promote and partner with are conflict with Catholic values,
    such as Amnesty International, Coalition for Adolescent Girls, OxFam and more. This is
    especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for ‘reproductive rights’ (i.e.
    abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors).”

The letter also calls on Catholic churches in the Archdiocese to no longer allow Girls Scouts, or affiliated groups, to use buildings in the Archdiocese, which includes the City of Saint Louis and ten surrounding counties. Parish priests within the Archdiocese are instructed to talk to their parishioners about alternatives to the Girl Scouts. Further, the Archbishop’s directive creates a new committee, the Catholic Committee for Girls Formation, tasked with creating leadership programs for youth.

saint louis archbishop girl scout cookies

Some 43,000 girls in the Saint Louis area participate in Girl Scouts and its affiliated organizations. Some 4,000 of those Girl Scouts are in troops based out of Catholic churches and schools. Under the new rules, it appears those Scouts will have to find alternative accommodations.

Bonnie Barczykowski, spokesperson for the Eastern Missouri chapter, doesn’t believe that’s going to be a problem. She says that displaced Girl Scouts will be able to find alternative accommodations at public libraries, community centers, or buildings belonging to religious groups not affiliated with the Saint Louis Archdiocese.

Further, the vast majority of the troop leaders within the chapter have agreed to stay on with the Girl Scouts, in spite of the Archbishop’s directives.

“There has been an outpouring of support from our community.”

Ms. Barczykowski also believes that the Archbishop’s letter does not adequately represent what the Girl Scouts are about. Specifically, she says, the Missouri chapter does not involve its girls in discussions of reproduction or sexuality.

“Those matters are best discussed within the family.”

Still, that does not necessarily mean that the Girl Scouts, as an organization, has completely avoided taking a stance on human sexuality issues. For example, according to this Inquisitr report, the Girl Scouts allow troops to accept biological males who identify as female on a case-by-case basis.

An Illinois Girl Scout, identified only as “Stormi,” is biologically male but identifies as female. After a neighborhood bully told Stormi that “no one wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress,” Stormi took that negative experience and used it to sell a record number of Girl Scout cookies.

Do you believe the Archdiocese of Saint Louis is right to tell parishioners not to buy Girl Scout cookies? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]