Sunday, May 13, 2012
U. S. Bishops vs the Girl Scouts?
One could say that the U. S. bishops may be finding themselves in the same situation. On the heels of the announcement that the Vatican had appointed an American bishop to oversee the "reformation" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, comes the revelation of an episcopal investigation of the Girl Scouts. The Washington Post had published a story, and National Public Radio had broadcast a report on the investigation. In truth, this has been going on for some years, in response to conservative Catholic complaints about the Girls Scouts promoting sexuality education that is not in keeping with Church teaching. There has also been a move among conservative Catholic bishops to separate the Church from any public organizations that does not agree with Catholic doctrines.
Whether the concerns are valid or not, the bishops are giving the impression that they are ganging up on women; trying to put them back in their pre-Vatican II place. It would be wise to remember that it has been mostly women, both lay and religious, who have been the backbone of the Church. From the earliest days of the Church, it has been women who helped to support the local churches. It was women who cleaned the worship places, taught religious education, helped organize and run charities. The bishops are risking alienating them at time when they are most needed for the life of the Church.