Archdiocese of St. Louis Responds to Boy Scouts of America Transgender Policy

January 31, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis is deeply saddened and disturbed by the decision of Boy Scouts of America to allow girls struggling with gender dysphoria into their troops.

For more than a century, Boy Scouts has been an organization dedicated to honor, service, and “duty to God.” However, it is impossible to speak of a scout’s “duty to God” while at the same time failing to recognize the fundamental order of God’s creation.

The fact is that human beings are born with a sexual identity and not merely a “gender identity” of one’s choosing. This sexual identity affects the totality of the person in the unity of his or her body and soul, and it greatly affects one’s capacity to love and be loved.

Pope Francis reminds of these fundamental truths in his recent encyclical, Laudato Si’:

“The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different.” (Laudato Si’ 155)

For many years the Boy Scouts of America has been an organization that could be trusted with the formation for our youth. This policy directive is the latest in a troubling pattern of behavior exhibited by the Boy Scouts of America. It is clear that as they move in the ways of the world they are becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values.

We are in the process of evaluating the effect of this new policy on the troops affiliated with the archdiocese. We will continue to be in dialogue with Boy Scouts of America in hopes that they will recognize their error and rededicate themselves to serving the needs of the boys in the organization.

The archdiocese remains committed to Catholic teaching on gender identity that is rooted in Scripture, tradition, and the natural law.