Statement on Scout Policy

From:    Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, Bishop of Lafayette
Date:     May 24, 2013

National media have reported that the Boy Scouts have changed their policy and will admit “openly gay” young men.   I note that the policy adopted does not use those words.  It states:  “No youth may be denied membership in the Boys Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” 

I concur with a statement released a few days ago and updated on May 23rd by The National Catholic Committee on Scouting.  It is posted on their website.   It states, in part:
· “The Catholic Church teaches that those who experience same-sex attraction are always to be treated with dignity and respect.”
· “The Church also teaches that sexual acts belong within marriage, and that everyone is called to chastity.”

Also, I concur with a statement by Bishop Robert Guglielmone, Liaison to The National Catholic Committee on Scouting: “Young people need encouragement and guidance that will help them live a chaste life.  Those who experience same-sex attraction should never be ostracized; they need proper support and care.  General public self-disclosures about homosexual tendencies should not be encouraged.”

In the Diocese of Lafayette, 42 scouting units are sponsored by Catholic parishes or organizations. The new standard adopted by the Boy Scout of America does not provide an obstacle to continued sponsoring of Scouting, as long as Catholic principles of morality are consistently applied.

It is my hope that we in the Diocese of Lafayette will continue to partner with the Boys Scouts of America in the healthy formation of young men.