Sixteen Catholic justice and church reform groups in the U.S. have expressed their support for the Girl Scouts of America (GSA) who are undergoing an investigation by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The investigation was prompted by complaints that the GSA is connected to liberal organizations and issues. The Christian Science Monitor reports that
“Last year, the Scouts angered some conservatives by accepting into a Colorado troop a 7-year-old transgender child who was born a boy but was being raised as a girl.”
The 16 groups, members of the Catholic Organizations for Renewal, criticize the USCCB investigation, which will be conducted by the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, as
“the most recent episode in an increasingly troubling sequence of attacks against women and girls, both inside and outside the Church.”
The entire text of the statement, along with the names of the organizations which signed it, follows:
Catholics Come Out in Support of Girl Scouts
As Catholic organizations we congratulate the Girl Scouts on their 100th year anniversary and thank them for modeling the best of what girls can be: strong, bold, value-based young women. What a shame that Catholic officials cannot see these young women for the gift they are to the church and world.
The Bishops’ attempt to exert pressure on the Girl Scouts is the most recent episode in an increasingly troubling sequence of attacks against women and girls, both inside and outside the Church. From the hierarchy’s mandate against the nuns to its most recent heavy-handed inquiry into the Girl Scouts, the Bishops’ actions not only reveal the growing gap between the hierarchy and the faithful, but also sends harmful messages about womanhood to our daughters in faith. We urge the Bishops to cease the investigations.
As Catholic organizations that seek a more just and inclusive church, we stand in solidarity with the 59 million women and girls who have been a part of the Girl Scouts. We thank these women and girls—our sisters— for their witness of what it means to be a woman who knows her own giftedness in the face of a religion or society that too often undervalues her self-worth.
We invite those who would like to thank the Girl Scouts for their contribution to the church and society to join us in our Twitter campaign #GodLovesTheGirlScouts.
The Girl Scouts mission states that it “builds girls of courage, confidence and character” and for that we are grateful. These are exactly the type of young women needed in the Church today: those who know their self-worth goes beyond that which is measured by the Bishops’ investigation, but that is rooted in the simple fact that they are beloved children of God.
Signed by representatives from:
Call To Action, Catholics for Choice, CORPUS, DignityUSA, Faithful of Southern Illinois, Federation of Christian Ministries–Roman Catholic Faith Community Council, Greater Cincinnati Women-Church, National Coalition of American Nuns, New Ways Ministry, RAPPORT, Roman Catholic Womenpriests–USA, San Francisco Bay Area Women-Church, Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, Women-Church Baltimore, Women’s Ordination Conference.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry