June 1, 2013
The recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to remove a national restriction to allow gay youths as members for the first time in the organization’s history will not impact the Diocese of Buffalo’s support of Boy Scout units. Catholic churches, Catholic schools and Knights of Columbus, Knights of St. John and Holy Name Society chapters proudly support Boy Scout units in Western New York.
Through these affiliations, nearly 3,000 young people are guided by 1,250 adults in activities that develop self-confidence, leadership skills and moral fiber. Strength of character is a quality celebrated by the Church, which does not support unjust discrimination.
In light of the removal of this national restriction, it is our expectation that Boy Scouts units supported by Catholic organizations will allow individuals with same-sex orientations to participate as members in the packs and troops.
As always, Boy Scouts units affiliated with Catholic Church organizations are expected to be faithful to and uphold Catholic teaching. Inherent in that is chastity, to which all Catholics are called. Sexual expression outside of marriage is contrary to the virtue of chastity. Employees and volunteers representing Catholic organizations are expected to uphold that teaching, while carrying themselves with high ethical standards that promote a deep appreciation for service to others in their communities.