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Updated. US Catholic has what ought to be an April Fool’s Day story, but isn’t. Bryan Cones writes:

After reading of the formal inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to the Associated Press, initiated by Kevin Rhoades, the bishop of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, one might begin to wonder if we haven’t finally tumbled down the rabbit hole. I mean, we are talking about the Girl Scouts here–you know, that organization that helps form girls into confident, self-possessed grown women who take leadership roles in society. Now who could possibly have a problem with that?

Evidently one big problem that some have with the Girl Scouts is its membership in a world federation of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (WAGGGS), which takes the position that girls should have “an environment where they can freely and openly discuss issues of sex and sexuality.” Well, we wouldn’t want that.

But wait, some other critics claim, the Girl Scouts also have a relationship with–you guessed it–Planned Parenthood, a claim the Girl Scouts denies, though one made over and over by critics, including an Indiana state lawmaker who eventually had to apologize for saying nasty things about the Girl Scouts (like they were promoting abortion, homosexuality, and communism).

Mary Valle writes at Killing the Buddha:

After the announced LCWR “crackdown,” I was in a Jo-Ann fabric store. A few women in line were deriding the Girl Scouts for being “radical feminists.” I had to butt in and note that if being competent is radically feminist, then Girl Scouts are.

I made a lot of jokes about my being “2 for 2” as a radical feminist that week.

Now the USCCB is attacking the Girl Scouts. I felt this coming, somehow. Groups of women gathering, independently, just stick in their craw the way a lot of other things—and I think you know what other things I’m talking about—don’t.

The USCCB is concerned that a troop on Colorado accepted a 7-year-old transgendered girl. That’s Troop Business, Bishops. If the girls in the troop think that’s fine, it’s dandy. Girl Scouts are free to make their own decisions. Which of course, might be the problem.

Other complaints about nonexistent positions on sexuality and birth control and a “liberal” board and a brochure available at a UN-sponsored event—should the place have been swept beforehand?—just stack up high into Ludicrous Heaven. I’m not going through the extremely sketchy accusations being made. I just wonder where all this nonsense originated and why it is being propagated.

I’m beginning to suspect that the mere notion of girls meeting, gaining skills and becoming competent human beings is a threat. Are Catholic girls no longer being encouraged to follow their own dreams? To speak their minds? To lead others? (Not to mention doing community service, camping and crafts!)

How did we get here? One of the important things about Girl Scouting is bringing different types of people together and learning about each other’s culture. That is: inclusion. Conservative-hatched American Heritage Girls, the new challenger, seems to offer only Godliness and Countryishness. Girl Scouts is international! AHG, not so much.

It’s a super-classy move to announce this on the eve of Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary, too. Way to pop balloons and leave the cake out in the rain.

Bishops: stand down. Stop trying to besmirch things that are wonderful! Stop casting aspersions! You are attacking our girls. Americans! Defend your Girl Scouts. As far as I’m concerned, Girl Scouts is one of the best organizations our country has ever produced. If a line in the sand is being drawn, I know which side I’m on. Scouts.


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Toxic misogyny, lethal patriarchy.

Kyrie eleison!

JC Fisher

Murdoch Matthew

AmericaBlog is reporting that, according to Sojourner’s magazine,

conservative American churchmen living in Rome—including disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law—were key players in pushing the hostile takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, which they have long viewed with suspicion for emphasizing social justice work over loyalty to the hierarchy and issues like abortion and gay marriage.

Vatican observers in Rome and church sources in the U.S. say Law was “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting” the LCWR investigation, as Rome correspondent Robert Mickens wrote in The Tablet, a London-based Roman Catholic weekly. Law was the “prime instigator,” in the words of one American churchman, of the investigation that began in 2009 and ended in 2011. The actual crackdown was only launched in April.

At issue is not just the fact that Bernard Law and Raymond Burke were given “asylum” in Rome after being driven out of the U.S. in the wake of the child abuse scandal. It’s that the Vatican dragged its feet to protect its priests while putting its female community into receivership:

“American Catholics have not forgotten how long it took bishops to wake up to the sexual-abuse crisis they created. And now they see that the Vatican took just three years to determine that it had no other option but to put 80 percent of U.S. nuns — whose average age is 74 — into receivership, an effort led in part by Cardinal Bernard Law,” Grant Gallicho, an associate editor of Commonweal, a liberal Catholic periodical, wrote on the magazine’s blog.

Peter Pearson

@ John

That’s not quite as simple as it might seem. RC people are fiercely loyal and many believe that the church needs to be changed from within. Honestly I am not sure how that is supposed to happen but that is their rationale.

John B. Chilton

Y’all’s comments have me wondering whether the bishops are capable of advanced thinking about the consequences of their actions.

I also wonder, should troops stand and fight the bishops, or is it better to exit and find a home, such as an Episcopal parish, that is accepting.

Peter Pearson

I am reminded of the banner that was popular back in during the Viet Nam war: “Suppose they threw a war and nobody came.” Suppose we just ignore these lunatics who have decided that the best defense is a good offensive. They offend me and yes, the Episcopal Church welcomes YOU!

Run for your lives.

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