Several Girl Scout troops in Chantilly, Va., have been banned from meeting at a local Catholic church and a neighboring school.
St. Timothy Catholic Church said that scouts won’t be allowed to meet or wear their uniforms on church property. The edict also applies to the adjacent St. Timothy School, which enrolls students from preschool to eighth grade.
According to the Arlington Diocese, the pastor did not believe the National Girl Scouts membership to the World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts aligned with the message of the church, stemming from a perceived connection between WAGGGS and Planned Parenthood.
The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital said its parent/national organization is not WAGGGS, but instead Girl Scouts of the USA, which does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood.
A spokesman for the diocese released a statement that says in part:
“Every pastor in the diocese has the responsibility to determine how best to use their parish facilities, consider the requests of outside groups, and reconcile such requests with the needs and mission of their parish community.”
The regional Girl Scouts council said it will make sure the troops affected can find a new home.
"We are committed to ensuring that Girl Scouting is available to all girls from St. Timothy’s Catholic School, in Chantilly, VA," read a statement from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital. "This location change presents us with an opportunity to serve not only the girls from St. Timothy’s, but to invite more girls from the area to join Girl Scouts. After all, this is our 100th anniversary year and a great time to be part of Girl Scouting."