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A Catholic Church Says No

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Pope Francis has removed bishops. We will see if Bishop Kagan is reassigned in the coming year.

He's removed bishops that have overspent or have harbored or ignored child abuse. Kagan's move is seen by many as reducing the exposure of children to issue not currently supported by the church. Unless Francis is going to announce support for the gay life style he'd be hard pressed to justify removing Kagan on any other grounds.

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Divorced and remarried Catholics have not asked the Church to "charter" a group for them.  Such groups do exist, but they exist without the formal recognition or endorsement of the Catholic Church.

 

Scouting is different.  A Catholic BSA unit not only seeks the formal recognition and endorsement of the Catholic Church, it is actually owned by the Church.

 

For the Church to own and operate a group that openly contradicts its moral teachings is scandalous.

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Divorced and remarried Catholics have not asked the Church to "charter" a group for them.  Such groups do exist, but they exist without the formal recognition or endorsement of the Catholic Church.

 

Scouting is different.  A Catholic BSA unit not only seeks the formal recognition and endorsement of the Catholic Church, it is actually owned by the Church.

 

For the Church to own and operate a group that openly contradicts its moral teachings is scandalous.

 

Yeah scandalous. In 2009, prior to Pope Francis, the Church went after that group of 55,000 US nuns. The Vatican investigated the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.†Not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion and women’s ordination. They also went after Network, another group of social-justice, do-gooder nuns and also the Catholic Health Organization which agreed with Obamacare's birth control policies.

 

After a seven year investigation and a condemning Vatican report, a new pope arrived. Pope Francis shelved this nonsense and met directly with US nuns for about an hour.

 

“We learned that what we hold in common is much greater than any of our differences.", Sister Sharon Holland, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

 

I hope similar wisdom and charity will prevail again.

 

http://www.religionnews.com/2012/04/18/vatican-orders-crackdown-on-american-nuns/

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/16/vatican-ends-controversial-investigation-u-s-nuns-olive-branch/

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Yes let's let it prevail. My healthcare hasn't been the same since obamacare. My costs have gone up, my premiums have gone up, my choices have gone down and I have less money.

 

But by all means let's take care of everyone because that's what America is about. Meh....

Edited by Bad Wolf

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I have some misgivings about the choice of the bishop, but I would certainly never publish them in the National Catholic Reporter. It won't convince anyone, because the readership of NCR already assumes that whatever decisions a bishop makes will be wrong, after all, they are perpetuating the oppressive patriarchy. The NCR is on record in favor of gay marriage, in favor of women priests/bishops/cardinals/popes, and it waffles on abortion. So, not exactly the voice of the faithful. More the voice of dissent.

 

On the other hand, it really must be asked: has BSA in fact now taken a position contrary to the Church on a question of faith and morals?

 

I don't think it specifically has, because I don't think BSA has endorsed any sinful actions. It hasn't come out in favor of gay-marriage, nor has it endorsed the homosexual lifestyle, nor said that same-sex sexual activity is scout like. It instead seems to be going for ambiguity and neutrality. At least for now. Probably not a sustainable position... but hard to know.

 

From a Catholic point of view, there is nothing wrong with someone with same sex attractions (which the culture crudely labels as homosexuals) participating in a Church sponsored activity, in fact it should generally be encouraged in the hopes of helping them live a Christian moral life. On the other hand someone actively and openly living contrary to the moral teachings of the Church is an entirely different issue and would need to be excluded from ministry and certain other roles.

 

Society wants to engage in identity politics on all this, label everyone and then judge them by labels. The Church rejects that idea. Don't judge based on labels. Judge actions, choices, and behavior. Even then don't judge the person per se, only what they have done, with the understanding that calling them to conversion is the better path.

 

BSA is not an organization that endorses or supports homosexuality. It is an organization that endorses and supports the Scout Oath and Law, but leaving the interpretation to individuals, families, and religious institutions (which may not be workable, but we shall see). If the BSA becomes an organization that endorses or supports homosexuality, fornication, adultery, pornography, abortion, euthanasia, oppressing the poor, defrauding the laborer, or any number of other gravely sinful things then it will necessarily be time for all Catholics to completely part ways with BSA, because then BSA will be a force for evil in the world.

 

Is BSA now a force for evil? I don't think so, though it may be just debatable enough that others come to other conclusions quite honestly. On the other hand pastors must decide how to direct limited youth ministry resources. To direct them into something other than BSA may be the right prudential judgement in many cases. Were I a pastor I would have to look very closely at what options and alternatives were on the table.

 

BSA does at times flirt with some grave errors, but they are the same grave errors it always flirted with, principly: indifferentism, relativism, and a Pelagian moralism.

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On the other hand, it really must be asked: has BSA in fact now taken a position contrary to the Church on a question of faith and morals?

 

I don't think it specifically has, because I don't think BSA has endorsed any sinful actions. It hasn't come out in favor of gay-marriage, nor has it endorsed the homosexual lifestyle, nor said that same-sex sexual activity is scout like. It instead seems to be going for ambiguity and neutrality. At least for now. Probably not a sustainable position... but hard to know.

 

 

A question, if the Bishop truly believed that the BSA "has policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings of the Catholic Church", would he not also start excommunicating Catholic BSA members in his diocese?

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A question, if the Bishop truly believed that the BSA "has policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings of the Catholic Church", would he not also start excommunicating Catholic BSA members in his diocese?

What would be the basis of the excommunication? The BSA isn't a secret society.

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What would be the basis of the excommunication? The BSA isn't a secret society.

Part of my question as I am RememberSchiif not RememberBaltimoreCathecism :unsure: . I was thinking Schism? 

 

When the Church boots a group for moral reasons isn't there an implicit assumption that Catholics can no longer be members of that group under penalty of ...?

Edited by RememberSchiff

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When the Church boots a group for moral reasons isn't there an implicit assumption that Catholics can no longer be members of that group under penalty of ...?

Excommunication? No, definitely not. And Bp. Kagan appears to have acted for legal reasons more so than moral. He's not said, for example, that Catholics sin by joining the BSA or by remaining a member.

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Excommunication? No, definitely not. And Bp. Kagan appears to have acted for legal reasons more so than moral. He's not said, for example, that Catholics sin by joining the BSA or by remaining a member.

 

Legal reasons? I have not seen that. Not doubting you, but in his public letters I read only concerns about moral issues and a misunderstanding about policy.

 

"...and as expected, the Boy Scouts of America voted to admit openly gay adults into the organization to hold leadership positions. 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."

 

I bolded part of the second sentence above which I think is a misunderstanding of the policy. The troop does not invoke a membership policy, the CO and National do. So the parish or school sponsoring the unit still selects volunteers of their choice. Maybe his concern is with adult volunteers in troops outside of his control?

 

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

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I bolded part of the second sentence above which I think is a misunderstanding of the policy. The troop does not invoke a membership policy, the CO and National do. So the parish or school sponsoring the unit still selects volunteers of their choice. Maybe his concern is with adult volunteers in troops outside of his control?

 

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

 

I think he purposely acknowledged the relationship between the CO and BSA in the way he did. He's basically saying that the church will not be part of BSA. BSA will go on. Church members can join and participate if they like, but BSA now owns those units formerly associated with the church. He's severed the responsibility for those units and put it back on BSA. 

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I think he purposely acknowledged the relationship between the CO and BSA in the way he did. He's basically saying that the church will not be part of BSA. BSA will go on. Church members can join and participate if they like, but BSA now owns those units formerly associated with the church. He's severed the responsibility for those units and put it back on BSA. 

 

Okay I see your points except for joining BSA. In his letter he asks Catholics to look at other youth groups

 

Third, I list here for your consideration acceptable alternatives for our Catholic children and youth, should you wish to offer this in your parish and/or school.  There are two very good alternatives to the Girl Scouts of America. They are:  American Heritage Girls (americanheritagegirls.org), which has a National Catholic Committee;  Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs (eccehomopress.com); and  Federation of North American Explorers (fneexplorers.com). There are three alternatives to the Boy Scouts of America, which are acceptable. They are:  Federation of North American Explorers (fneexplorers.com); Columbian Squires (kofc.org/un/en/squires); and Trail Life USA (traillifeusa.com), which has a National Catholic Committee in Front Royal, VA.

 

I wonder how ND Catholic scouts will earn and be recognized for religious awards. Scout Sunday will be interesting particularly where the Bishop is celebrating Mass. Old Schiff would have that Mass packed with scouts. :laugh:

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Okay I see your points except for joining BSA. In his letter he asks Catholics to look at other youth groups

 

 

I can't speak for him obviously, but I think his purpose was to distance the church from Scouts and offer options more in line with the church's teachings. He wanted to send a message to BSA that they made the wrong decision. I suspect most scouts in those troops were not Catholic. I know in our CO most in our unit are not of the same affiliation. I suspect the same is true for most units (except LDS obviously).

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Given his background and prior postings in the Church, and given the small number of units affected, I think he was sending a message to his fellow Bishops in the US.

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