The Catholic Church in St. Louis is cutting ties with the Girl Scouts, but here in the Riverbend no such action has been taken. However, the bishop of the church that oversees central Illinois shares similar concerns as the St. Louis Archbishop on the direction of Girl Scouts.
In a letter from St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, says the Girl Scouts and related organizations conflict with church teaching and is asking pastors to meet with local scout leaders to make sure their activities are in line with Catholic beliefs. Archbishop Carlson is not kicking groups off of church property, but called on girls and young women to seek alternatives to the Girl Scouts, saying the international organization partners with and promotes other groups that conflict with Catholic values. Here in the Riverbend, a spokesman for the Springfield Catholic Diocese said Bishop Thomas John Paprocki shares similar concerns and urged local scout leaders to be vigilant about maintaining church teaching and practices. Kyle Holtgrave, who serves as Chairman for the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Springfield diocese, says scouting can work within the teachings of the church, but understands that it becomes a challenge for a local troop if the national group promotes something that goes against church teachings. For information on scouting in the Springfield Catholic Diocese, go to: http://scouts.dio.org/