Excuse me, but who appointed the Catholic Bishops Gods and Guardians of All Things? As one who spent her time in the Girl Scouts along with her friends in elementary school all those years ago, I have only good things to say about them. While I wasn't exactly a master of cookie sales, I limped along in other areas, but certainly don't recall any outside groups having anything to say about our activities.
So could someone please explain to me how this is possible? Via Washington Post:
Long a lightning rod for conservative criticism, the Girl Scouts of the USA are now facing their highest-level challenge yet: An official inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with other groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching. The Scouts, who have numerous parish-sponsored troops, deny many of the claims and defend their alliances.
The inquiry coincides with the Scouts’ 100th anniversary celebrations and follows a chain of other controversies.
Earlier this year, legislators in Indiana and Alaska publicly called the Scouts into question, and the organization was berated in a series aired by a Catholic broadcast network. Last year, the Scouts angered some conservatives by accepting into a Colorado troop a 7-year-old transgender child who was born a boy but was being raised as a girl.
Some of the concerns raised by Catholic critics are recycled complaints that have been denied by the Girl Scouts’ head office repeatedly and categorically. It says it has no partnership with Planned Parenthood, and does not take positions on sexuality, birth control and abortion.
“It’s been hard to get the message out there as to what is true when distortions get repeated over and over,” said Gladys Padro-Soler, the Girl Scouts’ director of inclusive membership strategies.
In other instances, the scouts have modified materials that drew complaints — for example, dropping some references to playwright Josefina Lopez because one of her plays, “Simply Maria,” was viewed by critics as mocking the Catholic faith.
The new inquiry will be conducted by the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. It will look into the Scouts’ ”possible problematic relationships with other organizations” and various “problematic” program materials, according to a letter sent by the committee chairman, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne, Ind., to his fellow bishops.
With due respect (which is very little), why don't the Girl Scouts tell the Bishops to take a flying leap off a high cliff? I checked, and sure enough, the Girl Scouts are a qualified nonprofit organization with this stated purpose: "Girl Scouting builds girls of confidence, courage and character who make the world a better place."
Gosh, that's terrible. Clearly antithetical to any Christian teachings to help girls make the world a better place, right?
What has possessed these Bishops to act like they're dictators of the world? As it turns out, there's an answer to that, via Sojourners, writing on the question of who sparked the attack on Catholic nuns:
Now it turns out that conservative American churchmen living in Rome—including disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law—were key players in pushing the hostile takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, which they have long viewed with suspicion for emphasizing social justice work over loyalty to the hierarchy and issues like abortion and gay marriage.
Vatican observers in Rome and church sources in the U.S. say Law was “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting” the LCWR investigation, as Rome correspondent Robert Mickens wrote in The Tablet, a London-based Catholic weekly. Law was the “prime instigator,” in the words of one American churchman, of the investigation that began in 2009 and ended in 2011. The actual crackdown was only launched in April.
Law was joined by a former archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was named to a top Vatican judicial post in 2008 – a move that was seen as a case of being “kicked upstairs” because Burke’s hard-line views made him so controversial in the U.S. Also reportedly backing the probe was Cardinal James Stafford, a former Denver archbishop who has held jobs in the Roman curia since 1996.
The investigation itself was conducted by Cardinal William Levada, a former archbishop of San Francisco who succeeded Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal watchdog, when Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, represents everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church. Look at this list of his merry men! Cardinal Law, enabler of sexual abusers and clinic bombers. Cardinal Raymond Burke, rabid anti-abortion fanatic and political enforcer. William Levada, sexual abuse enabler and apologist, now the top dog in charge of Catholic doctrine in Rome.
I still don't understand what jurisdiction these people have over the Girl Scouts. I can at least understand the nuns a little bit, but the Girl Scouts are an organization independent of the Catholic Church. If these testosterone-twisted men have a problem with it, let them simply send an edict down from on high to their minions, who will disobey it anyway the same way they do the birth control and yes, even abortion, edicts.
There is no way any church should have the right to "investigate" an independent, civic-minded organization for the dreadful sin of supporting organizations like Oxfam, the Sierra Club, and Doctors Without Borders. That's an overreach by all stretches of the imagination, and someone ought to whack those moles back into their hidey hole in Rome. Enough of this nonsense.
I'm heading to my neighbor's house to stock up on Thin Mints. I think I'll give an extra donation as a gesture of support for an organization supporting girls which is now under attack by a group of fat self-righteous old men.