Scouts-L Mail Archive for November of 1998: Re: Ad Altere Dei ceremony
Re: Ad Altere Dei ceremony
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 21:02:12 -0500
At 07:06 PM 11/18/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Religious awards, in my opinion, and in most Scouters opinions, should never
>be given by a Scout troop. They should be given at church during services.
>That's what Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath should be for. Especially the Ad
>Altare Dei. In the Chicago Archdiocese this award is given at a special
>ceremony presided over by an auxiliary bishop at the Cathedral. The priest
>should not be going to your troop meeting at all.
>At the Court of Honor I think you should present the boy the Religious Knot,
>the BSA's award, but not the religious medal, which is the religion's award.
I do agree with your sequence of presentations as that is the way we do it in
the Diocese of Columbus. But, I do disagree with some of your opinions.
The format of presentation within the parish should be the decision of the
unit and the parish. I seriously doubt if the observation of 'most scouters'
would be accurate for units sponsored by a church. What greater measure
of support could there be than to have the head of the parish coming to
the COH to present the medal.
Within the Counselor's and Review Board Guide, which is the instructors/
counselors handbook for presenting the program it states "Local diocesan
custom governs when, where, how, and by whom the emblem is to be
Within our diocese we consider scouting to be another means of ministry
within the church to bring God to the scouts. To bring the values and
character traits we value to the scouting unit. Review how we mention doing
our duty to God in the oath. Remember how we always say in the pledge that
we are one nation 'under God'. Remember that a scout is reverant. Remember
that the scouts membership in a church sponsored unit is voluntary and
the religious affiliation is not hidden.
So, whether the troop is sponsored by a Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, LDS,
or whatever faith, in my opinion it is very appropriate that the priest or
religious leader of that community of faith go to the meeting and make the
presentation if that is what they desire. There no legal, religious, or BSA
prohibitions against doing so.
Finally, since we are talking about Catholic sponsored unit, you may want to
review the requirements for the Pope Paul VI unit award which actually
that for the (Catholic) unit that once a year at a regular unit meeting that
the membership be involved in an orientation on church-related vocations.
Bottom line, if there is any place where God or his representatives should be
welcome, it is in Scouting.
Yours in Christ,