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‘Statement Regarding Archdiocesan Transition from Girl Scouts to American Heritage Girls By Archbishop Joseph F Naumann May 1, 2017 ‘After several consultations withthe Presbyteral Council and withthe recommendation of our Office for Youth Ministry, have asked the pastors ofthe Archdiocese to begin the ‘process o transitioning away from the hosting of parish Girl Scout troops and toward the chartering of Americas Heritage Gls troops. Pastors were given the choice of making this transition quickly, orf, over the next several years, “graduae” the Scouts curently inthe program. Regardless of whether they ‘chose the immediate o: phased transition, parishes should be in the process of forming ‘American Heritage Gil troops, a least for their indergarteners, this al, ‘The decision o end ou relationship with Girl Scouting was not an easy one. Over @ period of many yeas, gur Archdiocesan Youth Ministry staff spent hundreds of hours researching concems regarding the policies of both the International and the National Git, ‘Scouting organizations. In addition, they have spent hundreds of hours in dialogue with ‘Scouts, parents, pasos, and national Girl Scouting representatives regarding our cconcems with disturbing content in materials and resources developed and promulgated by the national organization. I personally have been in conversation with national and local Girl Scout leaders regarding my concerns about the new direction of national Gi ‘Scouting reflected in the content of their program materials. Eventually it came down to this. Our greatest responsibility as church is wo the chiaren and young people in oar care, We have a limited time and number of opportunites to ‘impact the formation of our young people. It is estetil tha ll youth programs st our parishes affirm vituesand values consistent with our Catholic fit ‘To follow Jesus and his Gospel will often require us to be counter-cultural. With the promotion by Gitl Scouts USA (GSUSA) of programs and materials reflective of many ‘ofthe troubling trends in ur secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values ofthe Gospel ‘The national organizaton, for example, contributes more than milion dollars each year to the World Associaton of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), an organization tied to Intemational Planned Parenthood and its advocacy fr legislation that includes both contraception and abortion as preventive heath eae for women. “Margret Sanger, Betsy Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently held up in materials as tole models for young Scouts. These as well as many oer “role models” inthe (GSUSA's new manuals and web content not nly do not reflect our Catholic worldview but standin star opposition to what we believe. ‘While Lam grateful tht offensive and completely age-inappropsite material was recently emoved by GSUSA from portions of ther Journey series of manuals in response to concems raised by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and oters, itis disturbing such an intervention on our part was necessary. We prefer to partner with ‘youth organization that share our values and vision for outa ministry, aot ones that we hhave to monitor constantly to protect our chien fom being misled and misinformed. American Heritage Gil, a program based on Christan values, we believe is a much better fit for our parishes encourage you to read more about the American Heritage Gil program by going to its website, www amerianheritageitls.org For more information about the history of and issues surrounding our Girl Scouting decision, goto ‘wow archkek orp/seotting home. On. final note, I wantto express my appreciation for the many extraordinary Girl Scout leaders ofthe archdioc=se who have served so many so well. We look forward o having 1s many of them as are willing join us ia leadership roles as we tke this new step into the formation of our girls. Iwill always be grateful fr ther exceptional service.