May 25, 2013 3:26 PM
In a statement released to priests and deacons in the Lafayette diocese, Bishop Michael Jarrell says the announcement that the Boy Scouts of America will admit gay scouts to its ranks does not run counter to church policy.
"National media have reported that the Boy Scouts have changed their policy and will admit 'openly gay' young men," Jarrell wrote in his letter. "I note that the policy adopted does not use those words. It states: 'No youth may be denied membership in the Boys Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.'"
Jarrell goes on to explain that his position, and that of the church, is to promote tolerance rather than exclusion.
"The new standard adopted by the Boy Scout of America does not provide an obstacle to continued sponsoring of scouting," Jarrell said, "as long as Catholic principles of morality are consistently applied."