THE Osservatore Romano has come out in defence of the Baden Powell Scout movement against an assertion by Fr. Tolmino Zelli in his recent book, Scouting for Boys. that the movement is not apt to create conditions for a Christian education.
The Vatican newspaper points out that the author's personal opinion is in contrast with the most authorised documents of the Church during the past 30 years, as can be seen in the writings of many Bishops and even of the Holy See itself.
The Osservatore notes that this opinion of the author is also in contrast with the opinions of all the wellknown specialists on the subject.
Furthermore, the opinion of Fr. Zelli is in contrast with the practice of all the various Catholic Scout Associations in all parts of the world, some of which, it says, deserve more attention than the author of this new work has given.
The Osservatore quotes on this subject Archbishop Pignedoli, former chaplain general to the Italian Catholic Scout Association, who wrote: " Experience gives good witness of the formative value of scouting, and the values it inculcates, such as honour, loyalty and the knightly spirit and generous service of one's neighbour are well adapted to the enthusiastic intelligence of the boy and constitute a sound natural foundation on which it is easier to build and to develop the life of grace. " Precisely because of this harmonious meeting of the natural and the supernatural it has occurred that not a few priestly and religious vocations have found in scouting formation a favourable atmosphere for their growth."