The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas will sever ties with the Girl Scouts because the organization is “no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel,” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann announced this week.
In a statement, Naumann said the archdiocese will transition to a partnership with a faith-based scouting program, the American Heritage Girls.
“The decision to end our relationship with Girl Scouting was not an easy one,” Naumann said, citing hours of research and conversations about the organization.
Naumann said Girl Scouts of the USA “contributes more than a million dollars each year to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, an organization tied to International Planned Parenthood and its advocacy for legislation that includes both contraception and abortion as preventive health care for women.”
“Eventually it came down to this,” he said. “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. It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith.
“To follow Jesus and his Gospel will often require us to be counter-cultural. 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,” he continued.
On its website, Girl Scouts of the USA says it “does not have a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood,” nor does it “take a position” on issues such as “human sexuality, birth control, and abortion.”
In his statement, however, Naumann also pointed to materials that included Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, as a role model for Scouts as a factor in his decision. He said Sanger’s inclusion in the materials does not “reflect our Catholic worldview” and stands “in stark opposition to what we believe.
“We prefer to partner with youth organizations that share our values and vision for youth ministry, not ones that we have to monitor constantly to protect our children from being misled and misinformed,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Girl Scouts did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.
The Kansas City Star noted that Naumann wrote to archdiocese priests in January asking them not to permit Girl Scout cookie sales in Catholic schools or on parish property after the conclusion of the current school year.