Cookie monsters

Archbishop accuses Girl Scouts of “troubling pattern of behavior”

Girl Scouts sell cookies in New York City. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has an axe to grind with the Girl Scouts — whose values are deemed “incompatible” with Catholicism — urging parishioners to scale back their connections to the organization and advising Roman Catholics to reconsider purchasing their cookies.

The warnings were contained in a letter from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, as well as in a statement on the archdiocese’s website about how the the church is taking steps to distance itself from the Girl Scouts, which it says supports transgender rights, homosexuality and other values at odds with Catholicism.

New measures include Girl Scouts being discouraged from meeting on parish property, and disbanding the committee that sponsored Catholic programs for Girl Scouts. “Girl Scouts is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is increasingly incompatible with out Catholic values,” Archbishop Carlson wrote in the February 18 letter to priests, followers and scout leaders.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson (Wikimedia Commons)

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson (Wikimedia Commons)

The Girl Scouts also came under fire from the Archbishop for their ties to Amnesty International, the Coalition for Adolescent Girls and to Oxfam, because of those organizations’ support for sex education and reproductive rights. His  letter was followed with a list of answers to frequently asked questions, including the vexing matter of cookie purchases: “Each person must act in accord with their conscience.”

Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri chapter (which had drawn the archdiocese’s ire for producing a “statement of inclusivity” on how to welcome a transgender child into the group) told the New York Times there had been “an outpouring of support from our community.”

Around 515,000 Catholics live in the archdiocese.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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