“Girl Scout cookies?”

Sized_Cookies_ThinmintsThe St. Louis Archdiocese website carries this question and answer:

Q: “Can I still buy Girl Scout cookies?

A: “Each person must act in accord with their conscience.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried the story yesterday: “Church cuts ties with Girl Scouts“.

“Archbishop Robert Carlson has issued a letter calling on all Missouri parishes to sever ties with the Girl Scouts, arguing that the program and related organizations conflict with Catholic teachings.”

“Girl Scouts,” says the letter from Archbishop Carlson, “is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values….We must stop and ask ourselves – is Girl Scouts concerned with the total well-being of our young women? Does it do a good job forming the spiritual, emotional, and personal well-being of Catholic girls?”

“GSUSA resources and social media highlight and promote role models in conflict with Catholic values such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan.

“Organizations that USGSA promotes and partners with are [in] conflict with Catholic values, such Amnesty International, Coalition for Adolescent Girls, Oxfam and more.”


Meanwhile here in Minneapolis, the StarTribune carries a news-breaking story: Fridley priest’s home is searched following neighbors’ suspicions of abuse.

In 47 years as a Presbyterian minister, diocesan priests have been close colleagues beginning with Father Ron in Decatur, IL. Father Ron, Father Paul, and Father Michael were all thoughtful pastors lamented the state of the Church as much as – and often more than – the Church’s external critics. They understood conscience and honored it. They respected the consciences of their parishioners. Conscience was not about Girls Scout cookies. They lived to serve the people, and their ears were tuned to the Sensus Fidelium, the Sense of the Faithful (the people). To their great sorrow, large numbers of parishioners have exercised their consciences with their feet. They’ve left the Church. Those whose consciences have led them to stay understand and support the likes of Father Ron.

trojcak-ronFather Ron Trojcak (St. James Parish in 1969, now retired) was the last resort for folks who were down and out, recently released from prison without jobs or housing, and African-American families needing an advocate with the police, school board, and city council. The doorbell of the rectory was always ringing, day and night.  Today I’m imagining a distressed Girl Scout mother coming by the rectory to ask the question that was troubling her:

“Father, can I still buy Girl Scout cookies?”

I like the OLD kind,” said Father Ron. “You know, the chocolate mints! Have a cookie! I’ll get us some milk.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Feb. 20, 2016





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