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David CO

Vatican Scouts?

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We have a local RCChurch that charters a Pack and Troop.  One must profess the Catholic faith to be a Scout in their units.  Small, but active and well supported.

That's really unusual to require.  Neither mine nor any other RC unit I've known would require it, nor do any of the schools I've been involved with.

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That's really unusual to require.  Neither mine nor any other RC unit I've known would require it, nor do any of the schools I've been involved with.

Local option

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Seeing as how Fr. Sevin knew Lord Baden-Powell and undertook his work with his approval, I'll go with "interpreted." :)

 

B-P had high praise for how Catholic associations were using his program. He even allowed his named to be used by the Belgian Catholic association -- the Baden-Powell Belgian Boy and Sea Scouts.

 

Spun, I seriously believe that even Fr. Sevin would not approve of the track BSA is taking today as appropriate for scouts 100 years ago. I would like to see evidence of Fr. Sevin's comments regarding this before I make further judgment.

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Spun, I seriously believe that even Fr. Sevin would not approve of the track BSA is taking today as appropriate for scouts 100 years ago. I would like to see evidence of Fr. Sevin's comments regarding this before I make further judgment.

Of course Fr. Sevin would not have approved ... not sure how you might have gotten that from what I wrote.

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If the Scout Law is to be reinterpreted in such a drastic way as to make it impossible for  Catholics to accept and obey, than no, there is no Catholic future in Scouting.

The Scout law/oath has not been reinterpreted by recent decisions. The meaning of the Scout oath is unchanged, for those of us who believe in standard Catholic doctrine.  My duty to God is unchanged. My view of morally straight is unchanged.  What the recent decisions allow, is for others to look at the Scout oath and law in another light.

 

I don't feel the above is perfectly clear, so I will give examples.

For myself, as a fairly devout Catholic, my duty to God involves Mass attendance on Sunday, etc.  For others in different faith traditions, that means other things, for example, for LDS units, part of their view of the Sabbath, is that Scouts shouldn't be camping past midnight on Saturday night.  Does the fact that we have different views of duty to God make it impossible for either me or my LDS friend to obey the Scout Oath? Of course not.  Well, the same goes with morally straight.  My view of it says that homosexuality is a disordered choice and lifestyle.  A liberal Christian might think that morally straight means something else. 

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If words are to have no common meaning, then what is the purpose of having a Scout Promise?

 

They have never had a common meaning.  Just use my example of what the LDS Scout vs. the Catholic Scouter believe in terms of Duty to God, or how a mainline Protestant differs from the two aforementioned, or how a Jewish Scouter views those. The meaning has always been according to the views of the Oath maker. 

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http://bismarckdiocese.com/news/letter-from-bishop-decision-on-boy-scouts-of-america

 

While there are indications that the BSA has a religious organization exception, which each local troop could invoke, that will provide no protection for any of our parishes and/or schools, which sponsor troops. Thus, effective immediately, the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Bismarck and each and every one of its parishes, schools and other institutions, is formally disaffiliated with and from the Boy Scouts of America. If your parish sponsors a troop, your priest has been asked to inform those persons associated with the BSA of this action and to inform the BSA itself of this decision. I regret my decision but, in conscience as the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Bismarck, I cannot permit our Catholic institutions to accept and participate directly or indirectly in any organization, which has policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

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The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bismarck is exactly right. 

 

I tend to disagree.  Catholic teaching accepts homosexual orientation, but not homosexual acts.  That is why Catholics did not have any issue with the standards for scouts because under Catholic interpretation of "morally straight" no scout should be sexually active (heterosexual or homosexual).

 

Catholic units can decide which leaders are selected under the local option.  Despite the prognostications of many non-lawyers, a units owned by a Catholic church can bar any person from being a leader based on the group's beliefs.  This goes for an Eagle Scout returning form college who is promiscious, a 20 year old who is living with and engaging in intimate relationships her boyfriend, an 30 year-old adult who is  commiting adultery, a 55 year old alcoholic or a 40 something homosexual who is cohabitating in an intimate way with another male.  This is no different than what it could do for other ministeries of the church such as a youth group, choir or service group.  The BSA (as well as the LGBT activist groups) know that any legal challenge to a church selecting leaders based on its religious beliefs will fail -- that is why the BSA is willing to back up the religious CO's on this issue.  Plus, there are numerous other groups with lots of money that will stand up to defend the religious COs.

 

The Diocese's decision is merely symbolic.  The decision really doesn't do anything but hurt the scouts.  Had the Diocese kept scouting, it could have provided units that had leaders who reflected Catholic teachings.  Now, if the boys want to do scouting, they will go to another unit which leaders may or may not reflect Catholic teachings or just quit scouting.  

 

The logic of disassociating with any organization that is inconsistent with Catholic beliefs is myoptic.  Our children are bombarded with messages that are inconsistent with Catholic teaching on a daily basis.  Do we not join a soccer team because it allows homosexuals to be coaches (even though there never has been one), do we not go to public schools where they teach that homosexuality is normal, do we not go to state parks because homosexuals can be admitted?  Do we not stop to help someone who has been beaten up because they are a homosexual?  

 

We need to teach our children right from wrong and teach them to understand why we believe what we do.  They will encounter people of all different beliefs in life -- from atheists, agnostics, people who think that fornication and drinking are good fun for a Friday night, people that think it is a good idea to steal things just for kicks, people who use drugs to escape their reality, people who are selfish, cruel and mean, etc.  Scouting does that.  The Law and the Oath -- its all there.  

 

As parents, it is our job to raise our children with the beliefs we think are correct and to raise our childern to reflect those beliefs in their actions.  Scouting helps us do that -- more than any other program out there.  The boys need Scouting more than the Diocese needs to make a symbolic statement.

Edited by Hedgehog
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As parents, it is our job to raise our children with the beliefs we think are correct and to raise our childern to reflect those beliefs in their actions. Scouting helps us do that -- more than any other program out there. The boys need Scouting more than the Diocese needs to make a symbolic statement.

Well said. However I think the key flaw in the analogies drawn between soccer teams (or other activities) is that the Diocese is being asked to sponsor BSA units. Unless the diocese is huge they usually don't have their own soccer leagues. I coach my daughters' soccer teams, which are sponsored by the church but play in an outside league, and I must adhere to Catholic beliefs and the diocese dictates.

 

I suspect the decision comes down to a combination of religious convictions and, I hate to say this, liability. The diocese cannot expose themselves (pun not intended) to any further liability.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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I tend to disagree.  Catholic teaching accepts homosexual orientation, but not homosexual acts.  That is why Catholics did not have any issue with the standards for scouts because under Catholic interpretation of "morally straight" no scout should be sexually active (heterosexual or homosexual).

On the contrary, I know many Catholics who took issue with the BSA's standards for scouts. You can't take the views of the NCCS or even of the body of bishops on prudential matters such as these and project them on Catholics in general.

 

Do we not join a soccer team because it allows homosexuals to be coaches (even though there never has been one), do we not go to public schools where they teach that homosexuality is normal, do we not go to state parks because homosexuals can be admitted?  Do we not stop to help someone who has been beaten up because they are a homosexual?

I think your analogies are rather strained. Soccer isn't formative in the same way that scouting is. And many Catholics opt for parochial schools or homeschooling, and I daresay that the normalization of homosexual behavior is one of the reasons why.

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The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bismarck is exactly right. 

 

Hmm, so I guess the Catholic Church in Bismark diocese has to close down the chapels at all the universities there. 

 

IMHO, this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The only people that will be hurt by this decision are the Catholic Scouts and Scout leaders.  I say this as a Catholic Scout leader. 

Edited by perdidochas

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Well, there should be plenty of liberal organizations willing to sponsor Scout units now, right?  I'm sure the LGBTQIA Society of Greater Bismark will step up where the Catholic Church has withdrawn.

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Well, there should be plenty of liberal organizations willing to sponsor Scout units now, right?  I'm sure the LGBTQIA Society of Greater Bismark will step up where the Catholic Church has withdrawn.

As long as they shun athiests, they will likely have repeated visits from district executives.

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