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February 26, 2017
Rockford - 7:30 a.m., Mass at the Cathedral
February 27, 2017
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February 28, 2017
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February 26, 2017 - 11:00am (Elgin)
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February 26, 2017 - 12:00pm (Aurora)
February 2017

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Boy Scouts of America

From the Catholic Committee on Scouting
Membership Standards Resolution for BSA
An Open Letter from Blackhawk Area Council of BSA

Current Statement on New Policy Adopted by the Boy Scouts of America

From:  Most Reverend David J. Malloy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockford

Date:  June 3, 2013

It has come to my attention that media, both regional and national, are continuing to report that the Boy Scouts of America has changed its policy and will admit "openly gay" and/or "openly homosexual" young men. The new policy language adopted by the Boy Scouts of America, which becomes effective on January 1, 2014, does not use those words. It states: "... No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."

A statement released and updated on May 23rd by The National Catholic Committee on Scouting posted on both its website and the website for the Diocese of Rockford states in part:

1.    "The Catholic Church teaches that those who experience same-sex attraction are always to be treated with dignity and respect."
2.    "The Church also teaches that sexual acts belong within marriage, and that everyone is called to chastity."

The teaching of the Catholic Church regarding moral behavior for all persons outside the marital state remains the same. In addition, the policy of the Boy Scouts of America states "Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual, or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting." This tenet of the Boy Scouts of America is not incompatible with the Church's teaching.

Currently there is no prudential reason to believe the Boy Scouts of America and its locally sponsored troops will act otherwise. However, more study is being carried out on this issue, including by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, so that our parishes locally and the Church nationally can attempt to forge a common understanding and a common policy to address this decision.

As Catholics we are called to love all people as fellow children of God, our creator. In doing so we must guide each other to live moral and chaste lives and never encourage or condone behavior contrary to God's plan for us.

In the Diocese of Rockford, 42 scouting units are sponsored by Catholic parishes or organizations. At this time the new standard adopted by the Boy Scouts of America does not seem to provide an obstacle to our continued sponsorship of those troops or of scouting, as long as Catholic principles of morality are followed. I will remain vigilant to this end and have asked the priests and pastors of this diocese to remain involved and steadfast in the application of Catholic guidance for the troops sponsored by their respective Catholic parishes and organizations.

At this time, it is my hope that we, in the Diocese of Rockford, will not need to discontinue partnering with the Boys Scouts of America in the healthy formation of young men.
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