The Catholic hierarchy’s problem with women–and Girl Scouts

I was a Girl Scout. My daughter is a Girl Scout. As Catholics, we are stunned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ decision to investigate an organization that we both deeply love.

It is tempting to laugh off this news as further evidence of how profoundly out of touch many of our bishops are with the lives and concerns of the people who fill their pews. But the hierarchy’s attempt to exert pressure on an organization that has helped millions of girls grow into strong, self-reliant and public-spirited women is only the most recent episode in an increasingly troubling sequence of events.

In March of 2010, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine authorized a statement critiquing “Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God,” by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, one of this country’s leading Catholic theologians. In compiling the report on a three-year-old book the bishops violated their own guidelines about communicating with a theologian whose work is under investigation, according to reports. Johnson said she was never invited to discuss the book with the bishops.

In January 2012, after years of pressure from Catholic bishops across the United States, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced it would no longer provide grants that have allowed Planned Parenthood to provide mammograms to women who could not afford them. The decision was reversed after a public outcry.

The Washington Post, On Faith, May 23, 2012

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