Cardinal Dolan Honors Girl Scouts at Cathedral Mass

Faith Is Scouts’ Honor at Cathedral Mass

Chris Sheridan CONGRATULATIONS—Anna Maria Chavez, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, top right, joins Cardinal Dolan in congratulating honorees at the annual Scouting Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral April 7. Ms. Chavez herself received the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal.

Boys and girls and young men and women of Catholic Scouting in the archdiocese came together at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where they were honored at the annual Scouting Mass.

The April 7 Mass recognized the achievements of members of Scouting troops throughout the archdiocese. The ceremony began with an impressive color guard of scouts processing up the cathedral’s central aisle. Scouts also served as altar servers and gift bearers.

Cardinal Dolan, the principal celebrant, opened the Mass by saying it was a joy to welcome the Scouts, as he had welcomed many other honored guests to the cathedral. Msgr. Anthony D. Marchitelli, the archdiocesan Scouting Chaplain, was a concelebrant.

The cardinal noted that the values of scouting are closely aligned with the values of faith. He made the point that it is important to have faith even when it is not easy.

He told the congregation about a camping experience he had when he was a member of a Boy Scout Troop in his native St. Louis. He talked about how much fun he had with his fellow scouts while appreciating nature’s beauty.

“Positive experiences like that makes it easy to have faith in God,” he said.

The cardinal explained that the true test of faith comes when God seems absent in your life, giving examples such as the death of a friend or not getting into the college of your choice.

“Faith comes through when God seems gone,” he said.

Awards given out included the Ad Altare Dei Emblem, the Ad Altare Dei, the Marian Award, the Pope Pius XII Emblem, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, the St. Anne Award, the Spirit Alive Award, the Bronze Pelican Award, the St. George Award and the Silver Antelope Award.

Anna Maria Chavez, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, received the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal, an award that recognizes her outstanding contributions to the growth and development of young women in the Girl Scouts.

“As a Roman Catholic and a Girl Scout, I am keenly aware of the impact faith can have in a scout’s life, and the significant role the Church has played in advancing the cause of the Girl Scout movement around the world,” said Ms. Chavez in a statement released by Girl Scouts USA.

She joined Cardinal Dolan in presenting the various emblems to girls who have completed the curriculums with the help and support of their scouting troops.


I guess I’m not following why this is popcorn-worthy?

:shrug: Lots of dioceses have scouting programs.

We had to pull our girls out of Girl Scouts do to the fact that they have close ties with Planned Parenthood, and they are pro-abortion, and pro-contraception and pro-same sex marriage. We as Catholics felt that this is not conducive to our family living its faith. I also hope that Catholic families that do have children in the scouts educate themselves on what their children are being taught. Do some research and talk to your local scout leadership. My wife and I were appalled when we did.


You have to wonder what the Cardinal is thinking.

Ahh, now I get the popcorn reference.

Well now. I’ll give this some thought and return to this thread for sure.

Perhaps he was thinking that this accusation has yet to be substantiated? The USCCB was investigating this, but I do not know that they have determined anything yet.

Unsubstantiated??? I was told directly by the GSA leadership in our area that the issues I brought forth were in effect true, in force, and part of the curriculum. That was all the information that my wife and I needed to make our decision.

This is what I’m thinking as well. I’m sure Cardinal Dolan is not misinformed about what is going on with the Girl Scouts being President of the USCCB and all.

I do wish the USCCB would at least give the faithful an update as to the status of their investigation though.

Don’t wait for someone else to give approval…Go to your local Girls Scouts and ask to see the prescribed curriculum and ask the questions yourself as my wife and I did. You will need no further clarification on the issues if you do that.

Perhaps this was happening where you were sending your children for scouting. It wasn’t been happening at our parish scout troop.

Even where local troops are not closely tied to Planned Parenthood the organization as a whole has issues. Their mission to focus on building confidence in young girls often takes on strong feminist overtones. They have also become more and more secularized over the past 20 years.

Because of those issues and their muddled relationship to PP our pastor decided to no longer sponsor the parish girl scout troop 2 years ago and instead sponsors American Heritage Girls because they are implicitly Christian. GSUSA can say whatever they want, but they certainly are not standing against PP.

USCCB Guidance*:
The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.
*I note this with all respect to Canon 455 and Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos – but it is ironic, him being the President of the USCCB and all.

There are long-standing ties between GSUSA, PP, and homosexual activism.

I certainly hope that His Eminence’s new spokesperson can help point out the dissonance that such honors create.

It was part of the public minutes.

They expressed concerns regarding the ‘Journeys’ curriculum, such as positive reviews of the very anti-Catholic play “Simply Maria”, the links to PP\NOW funded sites, etc. The GSUSA gave a ‘mea cupla’ and promised to fix them in the next printing.

And shortly after promising the USCCB to be more prudent, Ms. Chavez gave an interview to *Marie Claire *magazine, a kind of teen Cosmopolitan. The GSUSA had a link to the mag on their website, until several Catholics pointed out that directing young girls to a online copy of a magazine that also featured an article entitled “Anal is the new Oral”, probably was not a good idea. The GSUSA has since taken down the link.

Here is a bit about Ms. Chavez from CNA

This is exactly true. There has been no final determination made by the bishops.

There is a lot of misinformation and accusations and guilt-by-association swirling around the internet with regards to the Girl Scouts. Let’s not use this to bash a good bishop for doing what pretty much every other bishop in the U.S. does on an annual basis.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts both have Catholic religious emblems that scouts can earn. It is common for a diocese to have an annual Mass where these awards are presented to those who earned them throughout the year.

Remember, there are half a million Catholic Girl Scouts. The bishops are not going to pull the plug and disavow because of hearsay and innuendo. Hence the investigation which involves actually speaking to the representatives of the Girl Scouts leadership to get answers to the questions being raised.

The bishops are taking this very seriously. And they will base their determination on the facts. I am looking forward to them finally completing the investigation so we can finally have something more concrete to go by.

I take these all as good signs. Certainly, GSUSA has made some blunders. But when Catholics have brought these issues to their attention, they have pretty much done exactly what the Catholics asked them to do.

Actually no. The USCCB asked them to stop making the blunders in the first place

First, there was the PP organizational ties (at least the covert ones)

Then the anti-Catholic aspects of the Journey books

So the bishops asked for, and received assurances, that the Catholic position would be taken into account.

Then Marie Clarie came along

And the continued funding of WAGGS.

What they SHOULD be doing is what they claim to be, which is neutral on these issues

So they should have already had a checks and balances in place to make sure the content of their materials is not offensive to large demographics of their target audience

If their stance is to be neutral on abortion and gay marriage, then they should not be funding organizations that act against their stated beliefs, such as WAGGS.

And after promising the bishops to be more careful, Ms. Chavez should not have agreed to an interview in a soft porn magazine. And CERTAINLY not offer public links to a magazine gave ‘how to’ tips on anal sex. Really, does it have to fall to the Catholic Church to police the links they put on their public website.

I’m not exactly thrilled with the BSA and it’s proposed change in policy, but at least they have been able to avoid all these issues in their books and websites. Why cannot the GSUSA do the same?

So either they failed to check to see what kind of content was to be found in that magazine, or they knew and thought it was appropriate for young girls anyway. Clueless or malicious, take your choice.

Either possibility does not inspire respect nor confidence in the GSUSA.

If I missed the ruling, I apologize. I will try and search tonight to see if they were able to decide.

I am sure Cardinal Dolan is aware of this. Applying it to Girl Scouts just begs the question.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit