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Seattle parishioners to deliver petition on Boy Scouts to Archdiocese

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SEATTLE — It is a long standing tradition in cities all over the country.

churchA storied relationship between churches and the Boy Scouts of America — until last month when the Scouts changed policy allowing gay boys to join.

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.

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  • guest

    The church teaches all people should be treated with dignity and respect, true. the Bible also teaches that homosexuality is WRONG! Love the sinner, hate the sin. That does not mean promoting homosexuality and other sexually deviant behavior. More of these people who thing their church is wrong should read their Bible and figure out what they truly believe.

  • Mark

    In Washington State same sex marriage is legal. The only protection a church has against getting sued for not supporting gay marriage is to not support any group or activity that is pro homosexual. If a church supports a Scout troop now they would also have to support a same sex marriage request or risk getting sued for discrimination.

    To all the people who are running around calling churches bigots for standing up for their beliefs, are you going to defend churches who continue supporting Scouts but not gay marriage when the ACLU starts going after them? I don't think so.

    Apparently tolerance is only reserved for those who believe in homosexuality. It does not extend the other way.

  • joe

    The Priests should have no problem with homosexuals, most of them are closet homosexuals looking for access to little boys.

  • El Gato

    The Boy Scouts have long been a recruiting tool for gays. When I was in the scouts in the 50's, I quit because of the gay orientation – with actions not just words.