The Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis wants area pastors to cut ties with local Girl Scout troops, saying the organization is exhibiting a "troubling pattern of behavior" on social issues such as same-sex marriage that is "increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values."
Archbishop Robert Carlson, in a letter to pastors,
said the scouts "promote role models in conflict with Catholic values, such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan," reports CBS News in St. Louis.
In addition, he said that the organization engages in "questionable partnerships" with groups "that promote positions on sexuality that contradict Church teaching, and promote additional women and organizations to their members that hold public positions that conflict with Church teaching."
The archbishop said there is no prohibition on continuing Girl Scout troops in the diocese, but instead the church is asking scout and parish leaders to evaluate the program and consider alternatives, such as American Heritage Girls, a Christian-based scouting organization.
"A push for values like same-sex marriage or the transgender issue that keeps coming up, that's something with our Catholic faith and the education of our youth, obviously there is a little conflict there," Brian Miller, with the Catholic Youth Apostolate in St. Louis, told CBS News. "Things like abortion advocacy with their international parent groups and things like that for Girl Scouts."
Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO for The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, said the organization will continue to work "to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make our world a better place, so we won't change anything."
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