Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Boy Scouts to admit gays but draws the line at atheists
The US Boy Scouts movement is changing its rules to accept homosexuals as members and leaders, but atheists remain in the cold.
- Brian Shane and Mike Chalmers
- United States
- January 30, 2013
For former scoutmaster Richard Guglielmetti, the Boy Scouts of America’s reconsideration of its ban on gay scouts and leaders is long overdue.
Guglielmetti, 66, who led Troop 76 in Simsbury, Conn., for a dozen years until 2005, said leaders and members of his troop ignored the national organization’s prohibition on gays because they felt it was wrong.
“It’s about time,” he said Monday (Jan. 28).
Despite the national policies set forth by BSA, his troop always rejected the policy, Guglielmetti said.
“We had a bunch of boys in our troop who were gay, and they all felt the policy was wrong,” he said. “Gay Scouts and everybody was always welcome in our troop.”
One of those Scouts was Guglielmetti’s own son, Matthew, now 34. Last year, Matthew turned in the Eagle Scout award he earned in 1993 because of Scouting’s anti-gay policies, his father said.
In September, the elder Guglielmetti resigned from Scouting. He had been serving the Matianuck District in north central Connecticut as the chairman responsible for giving Eagle Scout candidates their review boards.
Guglielmetti said that for him the final straw was hearing of Ryan Andresen, a gay teen in California who was not allowed to earn his Eagle Scout ranking even after completing the required service project.
“The boy did all the work and everybody knew he was gay, and then they rejected him. That was just intolerable. When that came up, I said, I can’t take it, I can’t put up with this anymore,” he said.
“Just because a person is gay doesn’t mean he’s a pedophile,” Guglielmetti added. “Barring gay leaders kind of accuses them of being pedophiles. Which they’re not — there’s plenty of good gay men that would be good leaders. As far as their policy against gay Scouts, I don’t think they should discriminate against anybody — black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight. I mean, it’s Boy Scouts, and they’re boys. That was my problem with it.”
The potential policy shift raises a question about another group shut out of Scouting: atheists, who decline to say the Boy Scout Oath because it begins: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.”
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said Monday, “If they are considering lifting the ban on gays, that’s a good thing, that’s progress. If they lift that bigotry from their requirements, I would hope they remove the rest of the bigotry and admit atheists as well.”
Refusing to admit atheists who decline the oath, Silverman said, “tells boys that atheists are immoral. If local groups want to behave in an ethical way, I’m confident they will make Boy Scouts about Scouting, not about bigotry.”
The Girl Scout Promise is similar in committing the girl to “serve God and my country.”
But the official site also stipulates: “According to the Girl Scout Constitution, the motivating force in Girl Scouting is spiritual. The ways in which members identify and fulfill their spiritual beliefs are personal and private.”
Source: Washington Post