Catholic Bishop Speaks Out Over Girl Scouts Controversy

By Stephanie Parkinson

February 22, 2012 Updated Feb 22, 2012 at 6:50 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Representative Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, wrote a letter to his fellow lawmakers where he makes multiple claims against the Girl Scouts of America. Those claims include saying the organization runs programs with Planned Parenthood teaching young girls about ways to explore sex.

Fort Wayne – South Bend Catholic Diocese Bishop Kevin Rhoades says obviously the claims are concerning to him but tells Indiana’s NewsCenter it’s nothing new. He says the Catholic Church has heard similar claims for years.

Despite the claims, Bishop Rhoades isn’t worried about the Girl Scout troops in the Catholic schools in his diocese. He says that’s because the troop leaders follow the churches teachings.

The Bishop says, even before Morris' letter, the church was already looking into claims like these.

"Some of those concerns that have been raised, and that the congressman raised were already concerns that have come forward and are being studied by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops," said Rhoades.

Right now the diocese is not changing anything with their Girl Scout programs. Bishop Rhoades says more fact-checking needs to be done by the Church and action would only be taken once the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has done their research.

Meanwhile, some schools in Northeast Indiana have changed their programs from being affiliated with the Girl Scouts of America to the American Heritage Girls, a Christian-based organization. Bishop Rhoades says that is a great organization but he is not pushing other schools to end their Girl Scout programs at this time.

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