Statement by Bishop Murry Regarding Changes in Policy of the Boys Scouts of America

Statement of MOST REVEREND GEORGE V. MURRY, S.J., Ph.D. Bishop of Youngstown Regarding Changes in the Policies of the Boys Scouts of America

August 28, 2013

For more than 100 years, the Catholic Church proudly has supported the work of the Boy Scouts of America in our Catholic schools and parishes. We believe that scouting, as one form of youth and young adult ministry, provides an excellent opportunity to form young persons into adults in a wholesome environment and under the leadership of strong role models.

The most recent revision of the Membership Standards of the Boy Scouts now reads that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

As a faith community, there is no obstacle in living out this new Membership Standard, insofar as we agree that no one should be reduced to their sexual orientation. We do, however, remain steadfast in our commitment to an authentic vision of sexuality rooted in the Gospel message and the Teachings of the Church (see especially CCC 2396 which discusses the morality of sexual relations outside of marriage). We are all called to live chaste lives, prior to marriage and during marriage itself.

Scout leaders in the schools and parishes of the Diocese of Youngstown follow the diocesan Child Protection Policy. Compliance with the Policy is required and includes a background check, in-service training and signed acknowledgement of adherence to the Policy.

The Catholic Church remains committed to scouting efforts in order to develop young boys and girls into faith-filled and morally formed adult men and women, living their lives in conformity with the teachings of the Church and the values of scouting itself.