Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone made the following statement regarding the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees:
“On Monday, July 27, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America ratified a resolution stating that no adults can be denied registration as employees or non-unit-serving volunteers of the Boy Scouts of America ‘on the basis of sexual orientation,'” Bishop Guglielmone said. “The resolution also affirms a chartered organization’s right to select its unit leaders based on its religious principles, rejects any interference with that right, and provides that local Scout councils will not interfere with chartered organizations’ rights in this regard. As chartering organizations, individual parishes, institutions and Catholic schools have always had this right.”
“It is not entirely clear how these rights will be squared with previous policy changes the BSA has made, or how they will work in practice, but it appears that the resolution respects the needs of Catholic chartering organizations in the right to choose leaders whose character and conduct are consistent with Catholic teaching,” the bishop continued. “At the same time, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting expresses strong concern about the practical implications of this resolution, especially for our young people in Scouting, and whether the term ‘sexual orientation’ will be correctly understood and applied only in reference to sexual inclination and not to sexual conduct or behavior.”
“NCCS also expresses concern that the resolution articulates a position on adult sexual conduct that does not make clear that sexual behavior should be reserved to a husband and wife in marriage,” he said.
“There certainly are differences in religious beliefs among various chartering organizations and society in general and these differences have played a part in the creation of this resolution. While these fluctuating situations will be increasingly challenging, there is still a strong need to recognize the vital importance of providing a Catholic emphasis to Catholic Scouts and Scouters seeking ways to live out their ‘duty to God,’” Bishop Guglielmone said.
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