The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are reviewing the church’s long-standing ties to the Girl Scouts of the USA after complaints that some of that venerable organization’s programs might contradict church teachings on contraception and abortion.
The inquiry by the Catholic bishops has been ongoing for two years and was prompted by persistent reports, circulated on the Internet and by some social conservatives, that the Girl Scouts of the USA has ties to Planned Parenthood or, for example, endorses material on sexuality that the church would not approve.
Girl Scout leaders have denied the claims, but the bishops decided to continue their inquiry. In a March 28 letter to his fellow bishops, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, wrote that “important questions still remain and need to be examined.”
Rhoades, bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, praised “the good service that so many of our Catholic Girl Scout Troops have provided and continue to provide at the local level,” but he asked bishops to pass along concerns and reports they have heard about the GSUSA, which marks its centenary this year.
For years, conservatives have said the Girl Scouts of the USA supports Planned Parenthood, and have also objected to their membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, known as WAGGGS. That organization has advocated for emergency contraception for women in developing countries, and GSUSA is one of the 145 member organizations of WAGGGS.Continue Reading on www.religionnews.com