On February 7 of this year, Bishop Paul Loverde, the Bishop of Arlington and the State Chaplain of the Virginia Knights of Columbus, delivered the homily at the annual Scouting Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.
"Do good. Share what you have and sacrifice for others. Obey your leaders. As we heard in today's first reading, this is a “how to live well” list that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews writes to the early Christians. Don't they sound familiar? Of course, because they also match the formation of the Catholic Scout, so it is fitting that we reflect on them this morning at our Annual Diocesan Scout Mass!"
The Bishop's homily is reproduced in full in the March issue of The Bridge, the monthly newsletter of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, and you can read the full text HERE.
What about the Boy Scouts' new membership policy?
On May 23, 2013, a resolution was adopted by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America that states: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."
In a statement issued the following day, our State Chaplain, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, said that the "decision forces us to prayerfully reconsider whether a continued partnership with the BSA will be possible." The Diocese of Richmond issued a statement saying, "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 wit the teaching of the Catholic Church."
On November 11, 2013, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) sent a letter to all those involved in Catholic Scouting reporting that after consulting with the BSA, the NCCS Executive Committee and the Episcopal Liaison from the U.S. Bishops Conference, they have issued guidelines in the form of a Q&A document.
A key conclusion is found in Q&A 13, which states that "public statements by the BSA would indicate that the organization's work neither contradicts, is ambiguous about, nor neglects Catholic teaching on sexuality. The NCCS accepts these statements by the BSA at face value."
The NCCS Q&A document is eleven single-spaced pages long, and addresses numerous aspects and implications of the BSA's change in membership policy.
Neither Bishop Loverde nor Bishop DiLorenzo have yet commented publicly on the November 2013 material from the NCCS.
The new BSA membership policy will not be officially implemented until January 1, 2014.
Bishop Loverde statement, May 24, 2013
Diocese of Richmond statement, May 23, 2013
NCCS Statement, May 23, 2013
NCCS letter to "Catholic Scouters," November 11, 2013
NCCS Question & Answer document, November 2013
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