The US Catholic Church's top liasons are doing something pretty surprising given the Catholic stance on homosexuality–they are telling Catholic Scout leaders and troop sponsors that the Boy Scouts of America's new stance on gay members is not against Catholic teachings, and that they should continue to support scouting programs. The Religion News Service reports:
“Scouting is still the best youth-serving program available to all youth,” Edward P. Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, wrote in a May 29 letter addressed to “fellow Catholic Scouters.”
“We should be encouraged that the change in BSA’s youth membership standard is not in conflict with Catholic teaching,” Martin said, asking that “Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment.”
Martin said that despite some concerns, the NCCS had taken a neutral stance on a resolution adopted on May 23 by the BSA’s National Council.
In balloting that was seen as a potential watershed in the culture wars, more than 60 percent of the 1,400 members of the BSA council voted to allow gay Scouts while still barring gay men from being Scout leaders. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1.
This news comes amid attempts by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association to get churches to mass defect from Scouting, hosting Scout events, and the like because he did not like the decision that the national organization made regarding gay Boy Scouts. After accusing the BSA of caving to America's moral decline, Fischer "prophesied" that churches would mass defect from the organization. So far, only a handful of churches seem to have taken Fischer up on his "advice."