Catholic group will accept Scouts’ decision to allow girls to join

| October 12, 2017 | 10 Comments
Boy Scouts

Cub Scouts participate in the presentation of the gifts during a Mass marking Scout Sunday at St. Joseph Church in Kings Park, N.Y., Feb. 5. The Boy Scouts of America’s board of directors unanimously agreed Oct. 11 to allow girls into the Cub Scout program next year and let older girls become Eagle Scouts. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz

The leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, which has its headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Irving, said they “accept and work with the new membership policy of the Boy Scouts of America” to admit girls.

“We were informed this morning” of the policy change, said an Oct. 11 statement by George Sparks, the national chairman of the group, and the committee’s national chaplain, Father Kevin Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

“Once we have had more time to review the policy and a chance to consult our national membership, we will be able to comment further about how this new policy will reflect changes in the makeup of Catholic-chartered units,” they said.

The Boy Scouts currently have 2.3 million members, less than half than the 5 million they reached in the 1970s, at the peak of the post-World War II baby boom.

The vote to accept girls as members was unanimous, according to a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts allowed gay members in 2015, gay troop leaders in 2015 and transgender members last January.

“It is the mission of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting to utilize and ensure the constructive use of the program of the Boy Scouts of America as a viable form of youth ministry with the Catholic youth of our nation,” said the statement from Sparks and Father Smith.

“The National Catholic Committee on Scouting seeks to sustain and strengthen the relationship between the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church and to work cooperatively with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and various other groups involved in youth ministry in the United States.”

Girl Scouts leaders expressed displeasure over the summer when the Boy Scouts sought advice from its 270 councils on whether to accept girls. Girl Scouts of the USA’s president, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, in a letter to her Boy Scouts counterpart, Randall Stephenson, said the Boy Scouts should stick to recruiting “the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in Boy Scouts.”

Joseph Carballo, 70, a member of St. Helena Parish in the Bronx, New York, has two grown sons who were both Eagle Scouts. “And we all have the same view: no girls,” he told The New York Times Oct. 11.

“Boys and girls should have separate organizations for activities,” Carballo added. “There is an organization for girls. It’s called the Girl Scouts.”

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  • jcapist

    Not good. The boys and girls need to have seperated groups, for many reasons. It should be very obvious, especiallly from a faith standpoint.

    • Charles C.

      From a cartoon:

      “Now let me get this straight. Your son has just completed his “gender transition,” now he wants to join the Boy Scouts?”

  • Dominic Deus

    Dominic Deus here. I have mixed feelings about it. As a lifelong Scouter (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Explorer, camp counselor, District Commissioner, Camp Doctor) I love Scouting. BUT… I think this looks too much like an attempt to raid the Girl Scouts, an equally admirable organization. On the other hand, in Sweden, for example, there are only “Scouts”, the genders are always together and it works fine. I have no problem with older girls in Explorers and would have no problem with older boys in Senior Girl Scouts but in this country we have a long history of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and I’m missing the basic reason the Boy Scouts want to do this.

  • Dominic Deus

    I’m also OK with transgender Scouts in both programs as well as gay and lesbian Scouts and Scout Leaders. As far as I know, so are the Girl Scouts. And the Boy Scouts. Tell me again what Catholic sponsored Boy/Girl Scouts accept?

    • What is a transgender Scout?

      • Dominic Deus

        That is a VERY good question. I’m new at this BUT…The most obvious answer would be a biological female who identifies as male and adopts male conventional standards for dress, behavior, and…well, a lot more but I would defer to experts in the field. In the case of an almost pubescent child, it could involve hormonal medication if the gender identification is strong and years of growth have not changed it. And she wants to be a Boy Scout because that is one of the coolest things a boy can ever do.

        Another possibility is a biological male who is transitioning, comes out to the other Scouts, and they say “Hey, but you don’t have to leave the troop right? We are all in this together, right? We can call you Samantha instead of Same. It’s all good.”

        I am reading all I can on this as fast as I can. What do you think?

        • Sounds like some sort of mental illness. Sort of like as if I thought I was a martian, or a Chevrolet automobile. These poor children really need some psychological help and perhaps their parents who encourage it need some counselling as well.

          • Dominic Deus

            Thank you for your reply. At first glance it does seem like something is “disorder“ here and that naturally leads to many of us do you think of mental illness. But that’s not what’s going on here. I highly recommend the 2017 edition of National Geographic.The entire issue is dedicated to the question of gender. The science is good, the writing is excellent, and I think it will appeal to you and your logical instincts as an attorney. Thank you again for your comment

          • Junk science. Sex is not determined by one’s feelings.

          • Dominic Deus

            Gender. It is not necessary to find the science convincing but one has to read it to know. I suggest keeping an open mind on this. There is much to learn for all of us. Thank you for being interested in this important question.