By The U.S. Army (Girl Scout cookies for the troops) [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By The U.S. Army (Girl Scout cookies for the troops) [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

St. Louis Archbishop aims to cut ties with Girl Scouts.

Robert Carlson, the Archbishop of St. Louis, has urged priests to slash ties with the Girl Scouts. The reason is that the organization supports values which are not compatible with the Catholic teachings. This was conveyed through an open letter posted on the church website. It asks parishes that host the meeting of Girl Scouts to consider a number of alternative programs which are more Christian or Catholic centric. Carlson, in the letter, has asked readers to consider whether the Girl Scouts are actually concerned with young women’s well-being and whether the organization can do a better job when it comes to forming the personal, spiritual and emotional well-being of Catholic girls.

This ethical problem is put sharply on the archdiocese website under headline of whether the reader should still purchase Girl Scout cookies. The answer is short: every person should act as per their conscience. There is clearly a spiritual crisis looming over selling of Do-si-dos, Trefoils and Thin Mints.

Carlson has questioned whether Girl Scouts U.S.A. and its parent organization, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts can be trusted with spiritual formation of young girls due to their support for abortion and contraception. The archbishop has also accused them of promoting a number of inappropriate role models like Gloria Steinem and other feminist writers. He noted that the scout organization has also forged a number of partnerships with human rights groups like Oxfam and Amnesty International.

The archbishop, however, did not espouse an instant cut of ties with Girl Scouts and the cookies they make. He, however, has urged every pastor in Missouri to bar them from setting foot in Catholic property. He favors replacing the existing activity with other kinds of social networking suitable for young female parishioners. About 4,000 Girl Scouts presently meet on Catholic church owned grounds in St. Louis.

The archbishop writes that the primary obligation of the church is to enable the girls to grow and become women of God. He mentioned that there exists a number of alternative organizations. Many organizations among them have a Christian background.

To their credit, Girls Scouts U.S.A. has given a measured reply. The diplomatic message in its statement was unmistakable. It said that it is eager to extend its longstanding relations with the faith- centric organizations like the Catholic Church.  It said that it continues to remain committed to building girls of character, confidence and courage.

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