Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy creates rift with religious partners

Amid the Boy Scouts of America’s complex bankruptcy case, there is worsening friction between the organization and the major religious groups that help it run thousands of Scout units. At issue: the churches’ fears that an eventual settlement — while protecting the Boy Scouts of America from future sex-abuse lawsuits — could leave many churches unprotected.

The Boy Scouts sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020 in an effort to halt individual lawsuits and create a huge compensation fund for thousands of men who say they were molested as youngsters by scoutmasters or other leaders. At the time, the national organization estimated it might face 5,000 cases; it now faces 82,500.

In July, the Boy Scouts of America proposed an $850-million deal that would bar further lawsuits against it and its local councils. The deal did not cover the more than 40,000 organizations that have charters with the organization to sponsor Scout units, including many churches from major religious denominations that are now questioning their future involvement in Scouting.

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