Roman Catholic priest removes Boy Scout troop, writes anti-gay letter

A priest in Bremerton, Washington, has discontinued his parish's sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop in the wake of a vote to drop the ban on gay Scouts, while keeping the ban on gay Scout leaders. In a letter to parishioners, Fr. Derek Lappe demonstrates his animus toward LGBT people as a rationale for disassociating Our Lady Star of the Sea from the Boy Scouts.

Fr. Lappe invokes pseudo-science to create a list of "reasons" why LGBT people exist, including lack of rough and tumble play, lack of hand/eye coordination and resultant teasing by peers, parental loss through death and divorce, or mothers who are overprotective, needy, or demanding.

To me it is cruel, and abusive and absolutely contrary to the Gospel to in any way confirm a teenager in the confusion of same-sex attraction, which is what the New Boy Scout policy will do.

And so, we are going to redouble our efforts to create a community that is supportive of happy, healthy, holy marriages. In our marriage preparation we are going to try to get women to stop marrying such loser men who will never be capable of being good dads and husbands, and vice versa…

“We are going to provide youth activities for any and all youth…Our current Fraternus and Fidelis programs are well equipped to help cultivate authentically masculine and feminine identities.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly states that discrimination of homosexuals is contrary to the faith and does not promote Christian values.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the letter, "the most hard-line anti-gay statement to come from anywhere in Washington’s three Catholic diocese over the past year," which included a statewide referendum on marriage equality.

“Fr. Lappe’s decision to disassociate his parish from the Boy Scouts is a sad reminder that too many Catholic leaders are out of touch when it comes to understanding the nature of human sexuality,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United and an Eagle Scout. “This priest’s use of stereotypes to describe the cause of same-sex attraction is offensive and not in line with basic Catholic teachings.” Catholics United has launched a campaign to ask Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to speak out against such dangerous assertions.

GLAAD calls on the media to put the number of religious organizations who are disassociating with the Boy Scouts over the inclusion of gay Scouts into proper perspective. The National Catholic Committee on Scouting is taking time to study how well the new policy is supported by Catholic teaching. It will be important for media to recognize the number of congregations and religious organizations who continue to support the Scouts, and possibly may sponsor troops who have been abandoned by other organizations.