St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson has called on local parishes to distance themselves from the Girl Scouts because the organization is in conflict with Catholic beliefs (video below).
Carlson wrote the parishes in a letter on Feb. 18: “Girl Scouts is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values,” notes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Organizations that GSUSA promotes and partners with are in conflict with Catholic values, such as Amnesty International, Coalition for Adolescent Girls, OxFam and more,” Carlson added.
"This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for ‘reproductive rights’ (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors).”
“I am asking each pastor that allows Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property to conduct a meeting with troop leadership to review these concerns and discuss implementing alternative options for the formation of our girls,” Carlson wrote.
Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch via email, "Although we are a secular organization, we greatly value our long-standing partnerships with religious organizations across many faiths.”
“The concerns expressed by the Archdiocese of St. Louis involve adult issues and are not appropriate to discuss with children,” Barczykowski added. “I hope the conversation is one that will remain between adults. Confrontations with our girls would be unacceptable.”
Carlson says he plans to immediately dissolve the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts, and create a “Catholic Committee for Girls Formation that will be charged with ministry to all girls in various organizations.”
Brian Miller, director of the Catholic Youth Apostolate in the Archdiocese, told KTVI, “There’s issues in the curriculum of links and partnerships the Girl Scouts have with organizations that advocate for abortion rights or contraceptive rights for minors and things like that.”
Barczykowski told the news station, “We continue to do what we do every day so we’ll continue to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make our world a better place, so we won’t change anything.”