Denver Bishop Issues Warning About Girl Scouts

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Fallout from the ongoing controversy over the Girl Scouts’ promotion of a radical feminist agenda reached a new level this week when an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Denver wrote a column warning parents about the problem.

LifeSiteNews is reporting that Bishop James D. Conley wrote a column for the Denver Catholic Register in which he said a growing number of parents and youth ministers have shared concerns with him over the Girls Scouts alliance with groups advocating abortion. He urged parents to browse the websites of Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA)  and the World Association of Girl Guides and Scouts (WAGGS)  in order to see how the organization approaches issues such as sexuality, “choice” and reproductive issues. He warns that this exercise “may be a sobering experience” and says membership in the Girl Scouts runs the risk of making their daughters more receptive to the pro-abortion agenda.

Controversy over the Girl Scouts liberal associations has been mounting in recent months, ever since the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reported on the group’s participation in a United Nations workshop in which they distributed a Planned Parenthood sex education pamphlet entitled “Happy, Healthy, and Hot.” The pamphlet instructs young girls not to think of sex as “just about vaginal or anal intercourse.” “There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!” it states.

In addition, two teenage girls, Tess and Sydney Volanski, launched a blog in which they explain why they left the Girl Scouts after eight years because of the organization’s ties to Planned Parenthood and the promotion of radical feminism and homosexuality in its materials. Their blog only created an instant firestorm that has intensified scrutiny of the once All-American scouting organization that has gradually embraced more and more radical causes in the past few decades. 

Bishop Conley quotes a youth minister in his column who told him it was hard to imagine how a girl who remains affiliated with the Girl Scouts into young adulthood won’t eventually be exposed to the group’s pro-choice, pro-contraception and “reproductive freedom” association.

“If she was introduced to GSUSA through her parents and her local parish, then that will inevitably create contradictions between her Catholic faith and her Scouting experience,” the minister said.

Even though the Girl Scouts allow local groups some autonomy, Bishop Conley warns that activities and the orientation of materials from the international and national level will eventually reach the girls through a “trickle down effect.”

“Parents, as the primary educators of their children, have every right to insist that their beliefs, especially their moral and religious beliefs, be respected—not undermined—by the organizations to which they entrust their children,” the Bishop writes.  “Parents need to remain alert to the content of their daughters’ activities. And Catholics involved in the Girl Scouting movement should make it clear to leadership that Scouting is only a means to an end—the proper formation of young character.”

He adds: “It’s not an end in itself; and should Scouting ever fail in that proper formation, other groups can be found or formed to take its place.”

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