Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City today issued a statement in which he said he has “asked the pastors of the Archdiocese to begin the process of transitioning away from the hosting of parish Girl Scout troops and toward the chartering of American Heritage Girls troops.”
Archbishop Naumann explained that the decision to make the transition was not an easy one but whether parishes “chose the immediate or phased transition, parishes should be in the process of forming American Heritage Girl troops, at least for their kindergarteners, this fall.”
He cited a number of reasons summarized in these two paragraphs:
Eventually it came down to this. Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care. We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith.
To follow Jesus and his Gospel will often require us to be counter-cultural. With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel.
The national organization, for example, contributes more than a million dollars each year to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), an organization tied to International Planned Parenthood and its advocacy for legislation that includes both contraception and abortion as preventive health care for women.
Margret Sanger, Betsy Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently held up in materials as role models for young Scouts. These as well as many other “role models” in the GSUSA’s new manuals and web content not only do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe.
As examples of these “programs and materials,” Archbishop Naumann cited how the national Girl Scouts Association “contributes more than a million dollars each year to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), an organization tied to International Planned Parenthood …”
And there are frequently cited role models–“Margret Sanger, Betsy Friedan and Gloria Steinem”–who along with “other ‘role models’ in the GSUSA’s new manuals and web content not only do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe.”
The alternative cited by Archbishop Naumann is American Heritage Girls,” which he described as “a program based on Christian values, we believe is a much better fit for our parishes. I encourage you to read more about the American Heritage Girl program by going to its website, americanheritagegirls.org.”
Ann Saledin will offer a workshop on the Girl Scouts at the NRL Convention. For further information about the convention to be held June 29-July1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, see nrlconvention.com. You can register online at nrlconvention.com/register.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.