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‘Decider’ on Scouts

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The Rev. Brian Grady, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic church in Crystal Lake, has bolted the church’s door against Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts because some might be gay.

He’s a trailblazer, because according to a Chicago Tribune article, “It’s believed to be the first church in the Chicago area to take such a step.”

How did he reach such a decision? In a letter to Don Kinney, Scout Executive, with the Boy Scouts of America, Rev. Grady states, “This decision was made after much prayer and thought.”

Yet, a representative of Troop 923 on Chicago’s North Side said, “The Catholic Church hosting her troop has been supportive.” Therefore, it appears that serious, spiritual reflection on this issue by priests can lead to different outcomes.

How else did he reach such a decision? Rev. Grady writes, “As a former Boy Scout, I know how uncomfortable it would have been to have to be in close proximity with boys that would perhaps be looking at me as more than just a friend.” Thus, it appears his decision was also based upon a personalized, imagined fear.

There’s no stated evidence that Rev. Grady sought input from church members regarding his decision. It appears that Rev. Grady was the “decider,” the lone gun, setting policy on this issue for the church. A bit presumptuous?

Jim Bauman

Crystal Lake

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