Wow. Pope Francis has done it again.
In a recent statement that is sure to send shockwaves through the Catholic Church, the Roman Pontiff seemed to suggest that eating Girl Scout Cookies may be permissible in certain “cases of emergency or special situations.”
The Pope made the comments in response to a reporter’s question on the recent decision of the Archdiocese of St. Louis asking its parishes to cut ties with the Girl Scouts. That decision was based on the Girl Scouts’ taking positions on social issues that are contrary to the Catholic Faith. As a result, some Catholics have questioned whether it is morally acceptable to purchase and consume cookies sold by the Girl Scouts.
“This is a very difficult situation,” said Pope Francis. “On the one hand, there is a concern with how we must approach each sinner as a Christian who bears mercy. On the other hand, we must not ignore the urgings of the voice within us that leads us to compassion. On the third hand (this is an expression we use in Argentina) we must recognize that Girl Scout Cookies are delicious. Therefore, in certain emergencies and special situations, such as when no other cookies are available, the eating of Girl Scout cookies is similar to the case of Pope Pius IX and the missionaries in the South Pacific. Next question.”
His mention of Pius IX was in reference to an episode that took place in 1823 when the future pope was a young parish priest. One day he received a letter from a group of Italian missionaries in the South Pacific, stating that their supply of biscotti had been lost on the voyage and requesting permission to eat the small chocolate-coconut cookies being sold by the local girl scouts. Despite the fact that he was clearly not the intended recipient of the letter, the young priest promptly responded, “Sure, go for it. And send me a box of these ‘Samoas’ you speak of.”
Following Pope Francis’ comments, further remarks were offered the next day by Cardinal Giacomo Tortellini, the Vatican Deputy Minister of What Did He Just Say.
“The Pope has spoken quite clearly. Moreover, this is justified by the Principle of Triple Effect. Girl Scout Cookies are bad for your teeth, your waistline, and your soul. However, as long as the square of the third effect is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two effects, this is a morally permissible option as long as it is accompanied with the discernment of conscience, and with milk.”
So that’s settled.