Has the Catholic Church decided that the Boy Scouts is a battle not worth picking? The Church’s liaison to the Boy Scouts program has written a letter in which he says that Church will continue to support the Boy Scouts despite its new policy of allowing gay troop members. In fact, Edward Martin, chair of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, says that the new policy “is not in conflict with Catholic teaching.” In the letter, Martin noted that the Scouts still ban promoting “any social or political position or agenda” as well as sexual activity, so that makes everything alright.
The bulk of the Scouts sponsoring organizations are religiously affiliated, with the Catholic Church the third largest single sponsor. If the Catholics had decided to pull sponsorship, it would have been a blow to the organization’s membership.
In the letter, Marin called upon “Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment.” Too late for that.
A Catholic parish in Crystal Lake, IL has decided stop sponsoring a Scout troop because of the policy change. Fr. Derek Lappe, pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton, WA, has also halted his parish’s participation in the Scouts. “To me it is cruel, and abusive and absolutely contrary to the Gospel to in any way confirm a teenager in the confusion of same-sex attraction, which is what the New Boy Scout policy will do,” Lappe wrote in a letter to parishioners. Instead, he believes that gay youth are “confused” and “a casualty in the disaster that is so often the modern family.” Lappe does concede that “I am very aware that my objection to the change in the New Boy Scouts is increasingly considered bigoted and backward.”
Let’s just leave it at that.