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Two Catholic parishes in Michigan will “disassociate” from the Boy Scouts of America

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Some Catholic parishes in Michigan are not renewing their charter agreements with the Boy Scouts of America.

Two Catholic parishes in Michigan will “disassociate” from the Boy Scouts of America.

The Diocese of Lansing released new guidance on parish affiliation with the BSA.

Catholic parishes in Howell and Brighton have decided to disaffiliate with the Boy Scouts of America.

The decision comes after the Diocese of Lansing released a recommendation to parishes suggesting they do not renew their charter agreements with the Boy Scouts.

The recommendation specified what the Diocese called the BSA's "shifting moral values" and concerning liability issues after the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy.

John Anthony is the chair of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

He says NCCS does not currently recommend parishes disaffiliating from the Boy Scouts, but has issued outlines of different levels of involvement parishes can have with Boy Scout troops.

“We help the Boy Scouts of America understand the Catholic Church and each parish can set their own standard,” Anthony said.

The agreements range from simply providing facilities for troops, to having full involvement with leadership and membership.

Anthony said the NCCS will continue to advise parishes that continue their partnerships with the Boy Scouts, and provide alternative Catholic scouting opportunities.

“Even if a local Diocese says 'we're not going to be affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America,' there will be Catholic youths involved with scouting somewhere in that local area,” he explained.

The Boy Scouts of America issued this response when asked about the Diocese's new guidance:

“The partnership between the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and its many Chartered Partners, including religious and civic organizations, has been critical to delivering the Scouting program to millions of youth in our country for generations. Several of the BSA’s Chartered Partners have been sponsoring local units for more than 75 years. Throughout its ongoing financial restructuring process, the BSA has been focused on ensuring that Chartered Partners are fairly represented and that they can continue to support Scouting.

We remain committed to serving youth and communities Michigan without interruption. We have nothing but admiration and respect for our Chartered Partners and hope to continue our meaningful relationship in the future.

As for the broader future of Scouting, there has never been a better time to be involved. The BSA has taken steps to enable more youth than ever before to benefit from the mission and values of Scouting, and we are invigorated by the strong response we’ve seen locally and nationally—with more than a million youth registered in our program today.

We welcome the opportunity to bring Scouting to more people within each of the diverse communities we serve, develop new partnerships, build new relationships and create what we anticipate will be a very bright future for Scouting.”

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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