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Catholic Diocese of Richmond Statement on The Boy Scouts of America May 2013

On May 23, 2013, the Boy Scouts of America passed a resolution changing current youth membership policy by stating that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”  This new policy is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2014.  There has been no change to the membership policy for adult members over the age of 18.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is following the guidance of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS), whose statement following last week’s vote can be found here.

The Diocese has enjoyed many years of strong partnership and collaboration with the Boy Scouts of America as an integral part of our parish youth ministry programs. As adult Catholics entrusted to serve young people through Scouting, youth ministry, our parishes and schools, it is essential that we are true to the teachings of the Church specifically in regards to Catholic morality and sexuality.  This recent membership policy decision presents a moment of catechesis for our diocesan parishes and schools as well as local scouting units on the tenets of Church teaching on love, sexuality and marriage. When transitions take place in organizations with which we partner, we have an important opportunity to reflect on what our Faith tells us through its 2,000 year teaching, as well as how proposed changes may impact the ministry and youth of our parishes and schools.

Bishop DiLorenzo continues to encourage Catholics in our Diocese to live and witness the totality of Catholic teaching on morality and sexuality in all of our work for the Kingdom and to ensure that any Scouting program in partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Richmond is compatible with the teaching of the Catholic Church.  For those parishes or schools who currently charter Boy Scout units, we encourage you to continue your support of Boy Scouting in so much as it continues to be compatible with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

The Office for Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults is prepared to assist you with any issues rising from the BSA decision. 

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Director of Field Service/COO for the Heart of Virginia Council, Richmond, VA. Previous positions include Director of Support Services, Finance Director, District Director, Senior District Executive and District Executive.