All leaders and organizations that serve young people have a responsibility to protect and foster a life of virtue according to their particular mission. Organizations have a duty to select leaders that model virtues and core values with integrity.
Of course they do!
But one can only gasp when those words are uttered by a representative of a CATHOLIC organisation!
Given that the RC Church has systematically betrayed the trust of millions of youngsters, huge numbers of whom have been raped and abused for decades by this body of lawbreakers and perverts, the irony of John Halloran Jr’s words will not be lost on those who read reports that his organisation – the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) – has apparently succeeded in delaying a decision by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to announce a lift its ban on openly homosexual scouts and leaders.
According to this report, the leadership of the NCCS has urged Catholics involved with the Scouts to continue voicing their opposition to the policy change.
The national executive board of the Scouts, which has been meeting since February 4 in Irvine, Texas, yesterday issued a statement that read in part:
After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.
To that end, the National Executive Board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the National Council will take action on the resolution at the National Annual Meeting in May 2013.
The BSA has a highly centralized structure, but each unit is chartered at a local level. There are approximately 100,000 units, with almost 70 percent of them created by religious organisations. Catholic churches account for 8,570 of these units, placing them third after the Mormons (37,882) and Methodists (11,078).
More than half of all Scouts belong to religious bodies that actively oppose a change in policy.
At present, an unofficial “don’t ask don’t tell” policy is in effect. It is possible for homosexuals to participate in scouting if they do not “come out” about their homosexuality.
Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle Scout honor in October 2012 when he announced his homosexuality after completing the requirements for the award.
Meanwhile, ousted lesbian Cub Scout leader Jennifer Tyrrell claimed she gathered 1.4 million signatures on a petition about overturning the ban.
Two new members of the Scouting board have been pressing for inclusion. Randall Stephenson, Chairman and Chief Executive of AT&T, and James Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive of Ernst & Young, have both indicated that they support a more inclusive policy regarding homosexual leaders and scouts.
In a June 2012 statement, Turley said
As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization. My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue. I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse.
As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.
Even President Barack Obama weighed in over the weekend, urging Boy Scout leaders to admit homosexuals in a CBS interview.
The Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives. And I think nobody should be barred from that.