If an organization that did noble work were to waver, aligning itself with groups that are hostile to the values that made it admirable, it would ineluctably alienate many of its initial supporters. This is exactly what has happened to the Girl Scouts. Which is why the bishops’ conference investigated the Scouts, concluding in 2014 that some of the concerns were genuine; each bishop was asked to evaluate local conditions.
St. Louis Archbishop Carlson has expressed his misgivings about the Girl Scouts and has asked each pastor to reconsider the parish’s relationship with the organization. Importantly, he is not abandoning Catholic youth: He has instituted a Catholic Committee for Girls Formation. “While continuing to serve our Catholic girls involved in various scouting programs,” he said, “this committee will also reflect our ongoing commitment to educating and forming all young women.”
What Archbishop Carlson announced makes eminently good sense, though if one were to listen to his unhinged critics, it might seem as if he declared war on the Girl Scouts. This is not only factually wrong, it is a scurrilious accusation.
The Catholic Left, which is too often more Left than Catholic, is going crazy. Sr. Maureen Fiedler is angry because Carlson has raised objections to two of her pro-abortion heroes, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, both of whom are loved by the Girl Scouts. The discredited New Ways Ministry is accusing Carlson of “acting punitively.” Ken Briggs is unable to make a cogent rejoinder, so he elects to say that Carlson has branded the scouts “subversive.”
The secular Left is just as nutty. Daily Kos, Salon, Religion Dispatches—they’ve all cracked up. Patheos, the quirky religion website, even took the opportunity to trash the Eucharist. The level of hate is pathological.
Kudos to Archbishop Carlson for defending Catholic values.