Page 1, 5th May 1944

5th May 1944
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Page 1, 5th May 1944 — SCOUTS REPLACE FASCIST YOUTH IN ITALY —But Guides Not Approved
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SCOUTS REPLACE FASCIST YOUTH IN ITALY —But Guides Not Approved

From Cecil Sprigge, Reuter's Special Correspondent

NAPLES.

The revival of the Boy Scout Movement in Italy is regarded by the Catholic Church as one of the most hopeful methods by 'which the younger Italian generation can he led towards a healthy outlook. This was stated by the heads of the Church in two of the most important cities in Southern Italy.

Cardinal Ascalesi, Archbishop of Naples, said : " I am myself a patron of the Boy Scout Movement. Boy Scout drill with its badges and pennants was formerly most popular among our lads." Mgr. Marcello Mimmi, youthful and energetic Archbishop of Bari, said: " T like the Boy Scout Movement. It gives boys what they enjoy in a healthy form." Both Archbishops told me that they are already taking active .steps to revive the movement within their provinces.

A school for Scout leaders has already begun instruction in Naples and so Scout groups have been formed in various parishes. But, according to the Cardinal's chaplain, the Church does not favour the Girl Guide Movement in this country. It would prefer to constitute classes for girls to teach them domestic science and accomplishments without emphasising the athletic side. which the clergy consider is misplaced in the training of feminine youth.

SUSPECT AS PROTESTANT When vile Boy Scout Movement,was originally introduced in Italy before the last war the Church looked on it askance, suspecting it as an organ of Protestant propaganda,

Later the clergy entirely changed their outlook, and the Scouts became closely affiliated to the Church everywhere. They were harmed early in the Mussolini regime to give the Fascist Ballilla a monoply of youth training.

Archbishop Mimmi expressed the hope that Boy Scout equipment might he brought to Italy in due course by the Allies. One of the difficulties in restarting the movement in his province, he said, was the shortage of any sort of distinctive outfit to give the Scouts a corporate sense. •




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