LOUISVILLE, August 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) –The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have assured a homosexual will no longer act as an assistant scoutmaster at a Catholic church’s troop. But he will continue to lead Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church’s Girl Scout troop.
“I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep a low profile and stay ‘in the closet’ with the Boy Scouts,” Greg Bourke, 54, wrote in a letter to the Lincoln Heritage Council on June 22.
Bourke said he had “become increasingly uncomfortable with the don’t ask, don’t tell policy of the Boy Scouts…I feel like it’s hateful and I don’t approve of it.”
In response to his letter, Commissioner J. McFerran “Mac” Barr II asked Bourke to resign from the Catholic church’s BSA troop, where he had volunteered for the last five years.
Bourke told local media after he refused to resign, the council contacted the church’s priest, Fr. Scott Wimsett, and later Fr. Jeff Gatlin, the Scouting liaison for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.
Bourke claimed both refused to remove him from his Boy Scout post. He stepped aside only after the Boy Scouts threatened to revoke the church’s scouting charter.
However, he will remain a leader in Girl Scout troop 1575, which also meets at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Louisville. The Girl Scouts support homosexual leadership. “I do believe it’s time for the Boy Scouts to come in to the current century,” said Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana CEO Lora Tucker.
Cecelia Price, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Louisville, said in a media statement that the Church expects “adult leaders — whether heterosexual or with same-sex attraction — in any ministry strive to lead chaste lives.”
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bourke “said he and his partner attend Our Lady of Lourdes, and it is widely known that they are gay.”
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Bourke has lived with another man for 30 years. They have adopted two children.
The Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts’ right to set membership criteria as a private organization in a June 2000 ruling, and the scouts reaffirmed their policy on July 17.
Mitt Romney, who served on the organization’s executive board, said, “I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation” during a 1994 debate with Ted Kennedy. Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul confirmed earlier this month that, while he opposes the BSA’s scouting policy, he has not pressured the group to change its stance.
Other adversaries resorted to force. In 2011, the Missouri PTA has asked its 420 affiliates to sever ties with the BSA because of its stance on homosexuality; and in 2007, Philadelphia’s City Council voted to end a 70-year lease over the policy.
Rev. Donald E. Overton, an Episcopalian priest in Lousiville, vouched for Bourke’s leadership. “We have to encourage a change at the highest level,” he said.
But Boy Scouts of America’s chief Scout executive Bob Mazzuca said parents appreciate its policy, which gives them the “right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
To respectfully contact the Archdiocese of Louisville:
A still very serious problem in the Catholic Church that needs to be dealt with