Update on Girl Scouts Organization

 

As you know, Catholic Scouting has a rich heritage in the Diocese of Orlando. Bishop Noonan, like his predecessors before him, is supportive of the many children, youth, and families who benefit from participation in troops/units sponsored by our parishes or schools. Scouting builds character, and in the ecclesial context, aids in fostering lifelong discipleship.

As you know, Catholic Scouting has a rich heritage in the Diocese of Orlando. Bishop Noonan, like his predecessors before him, is supportive of the many children, youth, and families who benefit from participation in troops/units sponsored by our parishes or schools. Scouting builds character, and in the ecclesial context, aids in fostering lifelong discipleship. 

Recently, Girls Scouts USA began their annual cookie sales and some have raised concern over an alleged affiliation with Planned Parenthood. Both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry maintain ongoing dialogues with various Scouting organizations, including Girl Scouts USA, which facilitate ongoing evaluation aimed at ensuring that Church teaching (and practice) is not compromised. To date, the United States Bishops’ support of Scouting (including Girl Scouts USA) remains intact.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, a relationship between Girl Scouts USA and Planned Parenthood (despite misinformation to the contrary). A few days ago, the national CEO of Girl Scouts USA, Ms. Anna Maria Chávez (a devout and practicing Catholic) posted a YouTube statement affirming the aforementioned and I also received an official statement from Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando President and CEO, Ms. Jenna Tosh, underscoring the same.

Should we receive notification that an organization’s status with the Church has changed, Bishop Noonan would reevaluate diocesan support in light of those particular circumstances.

I meet regularly with representatives from those Scouting organizations that are active in our parishes and schools; I have found them to be professional, collaborative, and supportive of Catholic Scouting. 

If you have any questions, please contact Dennis Johnson, secretary for Evangelization and Family Life, djohnsonjr@orlandodiocese.org.  The following statement is recommended for sharing with parishioners or patrons.

 

SUGGESTED PUBLIC STATEMENT ON CATHOLIC SCOUTING

Catholic Scouting has a rich heritage in the Diocese of Orlando and Bishop Noonan, like his predecessors, is supportive of those young people (and their families) who benefit from participation in the various opportunities it provides. From time to time, questions arise as to the relationship between Scouting entities and the Roman Catholic Church. Scouting partnerships are monitored on the national level through the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and locally through our diocesan Secretariat for Evangelization and Family Life. Recently, some have raised concern over an alleged affiliation between Girl Scouts USA and Planned Parenthood (despite official statements from both organizations that such a relationship does not now, nor ever has, existed). Each year thousands of families benefit from Scouting. It builds character, and in the context of our Church and faith, aids in fostering lifelong discipleship. It offers a wonderful opportunity for evangelization and enhances overall parish ministry.