Statement Regarding the Decision Made by the Boy Scouts of America
The position of the Catholic Church is guaranteed in the Scout Law in that any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the Law of God and the virtues of Scouting. Members must demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Consequently, there will be no change in the existing relationship between the Diocese of Dallas and the Boy Scouts of America. As long as parishes retain the right to select its troop leaders that live lives in accordance with Catholic teaching, churches in the diocese will continue to charter BSA troops.
Catholic churches throughout the Diocese of Dallas have long enjoyed strong collaborations with the councils of the Boy Scouts of America. The diocese will now study the decision handed down by Boy Scouts’ national leadership to determine whether churches in the diocese can continue to host and charter Boy Scout troops when the new policy goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
The Catholic Church teaches that those who experience same-sex attraction are always to be treated with dignity and respect. The Church also teaches that sexual acts belong within marriage, and that everyone - young or old, married or single - is called to chastity, through which we grow in our understanding of love. Because of this, the Church reserves the right to continue to call our young people to live by the teachings of our faith and by moral truth which can be known by all.
The Catholic Church recognizes that all people are children of God our Creator. Further study of this decision is not a matter of unjust discrimination--which is always wrong and contrary to the inviolable dignity of every human person--but instead the need to take into consideration whether this decision will allow the Church to preserve its rights to religious liberty and adhere to and promote Catholic faith, moral teachings, and values through its organizational affiliations.
Bishop Kevin J. Farrell now asks that all people of goodwill pray that God will grant comfort and understanding to everyone impacted by this far-reaching decision.