Friday, June 21, 2013
North Texas church drops Boy Scouts over gay membership policy
It is the first local church to do so.
KELLER The pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller has decided not to renew the church’s charter with the Boy Scouts of America. Monsignor E. James Hart says he’s concerned for the souls of boys who remain the boy scouts now that the BSA has decided to allow gay youth.
“Do you honestly expect me to believe that when the time comes in the life of the Boy Scouts of America that there are 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 year old boys put together in overnight situations, some of whom with a self-professed same-sex orientation and attraction, that nothing undesirable is going to happen? Would you have me run the risk, and use the souls of the boys involved, some of them likely your sons and grandsons, as part of the experiment? I cannot. I will not!” Hart said in a letter to his parishioners, explaining his decision.
Hart said he is not renewing the charter as of January 1, 2014, the first day that the scouts will allow openly gay youth as members.
The National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) has urged churches to not “rush to judgement” since the new membership policy does not officially go into effect until January 1. NCCS is forming a task force to decide how it wants to respond to the membership policy change.
“Our youth don’t want to leave Scouting. Scouting is still the best program around. Catholic Scouters like you are still very much needed,” said Edward P Martin, the national chairman for NCCS, in a letter to Catholic Scouts.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church isn’t the first church in the US to dissolve its charter with the boy scouts, but it seems to be the first in North Texas. June 12, the Southern Baptists Convention approved a resolution opposing the Boy Scouts new policy.
Hart ended his letter by asking his parishioners to pray for him.
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