Rockford Bishop: Sponsoring Boy Scouts Still OK

The head of the Catholic diocese in Rockford says parishes in his region can keep sponsoring Boy Scout troops after the scouting group's national organization said it'd start allowing openly gay members.

In a statement posted on the diocese website, the Most Rev. David J. Malloy says the area's Catholic organizations sponsor 42 scouting groups.

He says the recent decision by Boy Scouts of America "does not seem to provide an obstacle" to the church's sponsorship of local scouting troops.

But he said the groups would still have to follow "Catholic principles of morality."

Across the country, some churches are severing ties with the Scout units.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, Ill. was believed to be the first church in the Chicago area to ban scouts due to their new policy. They reportedly notified local Scout officials by mail last week that the area's Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop it charted will need to find a new meeting place because they are “condoning” homosexuality, which the church opposes.

The Roman Catholic Church is the third-largest Scout sponsor, serving about 273,000 young people.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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