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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Joseph Naumann is telling Catholics in his archdiocese to cut ties with the Girl Scouts (GSUSA) because of their ties to radical feminism and Planned Parenthood.
On May 1, Abp. Naumann released a statement asking his pastors "to begin the process of transitioning away from the hosting of parish Girl Scout troops," instead recommending that parishes host the American Heritage Girls (AHG). He is even going so far as to advise Catholics to refuse to purchase the wildly popular Girl Scout cookies.
He is leaving it up to pastors to decide whether parishes currently hosting Girl Scout troops "transition quickly" or take a few years to graduate current members into other troops. He is, however, directing that girls entering kindergarten in the fall only have the option to join the AHG.
Naumann pointed out that GSUSA contributes over $1 million each year towards international legislation, promoting "both contraception and abortion as preventive health care for women." He continued:
Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently held up in materials as role models for young scouts. These as well as many other 'role models' in the GSUSA's new manuals and web content not only do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe.
The archbishop explained, "Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care. We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people." He added, "It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith." He added:
To follow Jesus and His Gospel will often require us to be countercultural. With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel.
In March 2016, Abp. Robert Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis also severed ties with the GSUSA and disbanded the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts in the archdiocese. He commented, "Our primary obligation is to help our girls grow as women of God."
The American Heritage Girls was started in 1995 by Patti Garibay, a volunteer who had daughters in the Girl Scouts. She became "uneasy" about the direction GSUSA was going, especially after it had begun to promote "sexual ethics against what she read in the Bible." Even though she formed a committee with other similarly concerned mothers, she was greeted with "silence" and "disdain" by GSUSA leadership.
Although it was founded as a Protestant-oriented group, it has a statement of faith that is in compliance with basic Catholic teaching and maintains, "God calls us to lives of purity, service, stewardship and integrity."