SEATTLE — It is a long standing tradition in cities all over the country.
Shortly thereafter, the Rev. Derek Lappe in Bremerton ended his parish’s relationship with the Scouts.
“I wasn’t willing to participate in labeling a young man who struggles with same-sex attraction, a 10-to 17-year-old boy who struggles with same-sex attraction, as having an orientation of being gay or homosexual,” Lappe said.
Now a group of parishioners are taking a stand of their own, delivering the Archdiocese a petition asking the archbishop to denounce bigotry and anti-gay discrimination.
“I think there is a lot of evolution going on, both with the Catholic Church and more society in general, of course,” gay Catholic and Eagle Scout Tee Earls said.
“I think it is up to each parish and each local community to figure out where they want to divide their parish resources, but I think that needs to be done in a way in line with Catholic doctrine,” Earls said.
“The Catholic Church teaches that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and the recent Scouting membership policy change doesn’t change our Catholic teaching at all,” Archdiocese of Seattle spokesman Greg Magnoni said.
That sounds like the Archdiocese would be opposed to any disaffiliation from the boy Scouts of America or any discrimination.
In fact, the National Catholic Committee and Bishops in Washington have expressed support and issued statements of understanding for the change in the Scouts policy.
But that’s about as far as the Archdiocese is willing to go, at least for now.
“The decision is always going to rest with the parish, with the pastor and with the local organization. That’s our current policy and we don’t anticipate a change in that policy,” Magnoni said.
“Well, then he’s going against any Catholic value. The dogma of the Catholic Church clearly states that any person, homosexual needs to be loved and needs to be nourished by the church and any act of discrimination is completely against church policy… so if the archbishop goes against this petition he’s really going against the key teachings of his own church,” Catholics United’s Bryce Goldsen said.