The Other I

May 15, 2012

What’s wrong with the Girl Scouts

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 3:55 pm
Tags: ,

Due to popular demand – well, one person – I have returned to the dragon’s den to find out what exactly it is about the American Girl Scouts that has resulted in an investigation by the American bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

I wasn’t going to bother because I was pretty sure I already had agood hunch.  But the one idea I flogged into the heads of my students at university was that they could reject any theory they wished.  But first they had to be sure they understood it accurately.

So here’s what I learned about the bishops’ concerns.  I’m afraid it’s as bad as I feared.

Fundamentally the Girl Scouts seem to be insufficiently disapproving of people and associations which do not adhere to the bishops’ view of Catholic orthodoxy. They seem to have said something rather nice about someone who approves of Planned Parenthood, for instance.  They also had made some approving references to a playwright, one of whose plays was said to mock Catholicism.  And horror or horrors, one troop actually admitted a 7-year old trans-gender child into its membership.

Surely it must be clear that we cannot afford to have our young girls exposed to any one who has ideas the American bishops so fundamentally condemn.

Especially when it is about something so critical as sexual behavior, about which the bishops are so wise.

PS:  I’m putting this into the category of Just Stuff.  I don’t think it deserves to be discussed as a question of religion.  I think it’s a question of fear.



  1. How are the nuns and others in the UK responding to Our Holy Father’s dicta? Are they backing their American sisters? Occasionally I hear a British bishop pontificating on the BBC, but otherwise the RC church in the British isles (apart from Ireland, of course) is invisible.


    Comment by savvybooksforsavvyreaders — May 15, 2012 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

    • By and large the UK bishops and cardinals are keeping close to the Vatican positions on most issues, though I have not heard any comments at all about the situation of the sisters in America. Ireland, of course, is a very big deal and much nearer to home. One-third of the Irish RC priests met last week and called for the ordination of women and for a married clergy. Some are calling for the current head of the Irish church to resign on the grounds that he participated for years in the cover-up of pedophilia in the church. A Scottish cardinal (dressed in all the appropriate regalia of his high office) did say the government wasn’t doing enough to support the poor.

      In the meantime, though, the pope has welcomed married Anglican clergy who have transferred to Roman Catholicism because they are objecting to the ordination of women in the Anglican church. Some have transferred with almost their entire parishes. So there is now a significant cul d’sac of married RC clergy in here in Britain. It will be interesting to see how it plays out with time. The Anglican church itself is riveted over the issues of women priests and of homosexuality.


      Comment by Terry Sissons — May 15, 2012 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  2. as surely as the sun sets and rises each morning, as surely as the earth turns on its axis, someday, surely, there will be a pope shirley if there is any church at all. for anyone who has not seen it, i recommend pink smoke over the vatican – now available from amazon (i love the name) currently in us and i am sure in other parts of the world there is an outcry against the bishops/vatican/male power brokers in their attempt at subjugation of american nuns. marches,vigils, petition writing. the image i hve of the church is of a man with a heavy rope around his neck. one end is secured to a limb of a tree. the man is busy digging a hole under his feet……


    Comment by kateritek — May 16, 2012 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for digging into the Girl Scout issue–this makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of GS cookies! And thanks for the other comment here (are you savvybooks too, Terry?) making me irrationally proud that my last name is Irish. 🙂


    Comment by Barbara Sullivan — May 16, 2012 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  4. Did you read Sister Joan Chittister’s article in the current NCR? I love her ending–I was a girl scout. So was I! It would be comical if int wasn’t so sad!


    Comment by kay lent — May 17, 2012 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

    • I didn’t read Sister Joan Chittister’s article in the NCR, but I did see the article in the NCR listing the number of groups the bishops have been investigating including the US Catholic Charities and Caritas, the church’s organization for international charity. The bishops seem to suggest that associating with anybody or any institution that holds any values that depart from those dictated by the bishops are suspect. But the sexual misconduct of priests remains securely behind locked doors.

      This certainly wasn’t the Catholic Church we were taught to follow, is it? Terry


      Comment by Terry Sissons — May 17, 2012 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

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