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Wednesday, 17 November 1976


Dear friends,

we are pleased to have been able to accept your request for an audience, and we are indeed happy today to welcome you, the President and members of the “World Scout Committee”.

Moreover, we are sincerely grateful for your visit, since it gives us the opportunity to express once again our esteem for your movement, which has contributed so much to the formation of generations of young people all over the world. Scouting not only gives a training for initiative and leadership; it also instils an appreciation of spiritual values and those ideals of true brotherhood and generous service which are so greatly needed in the world.

Our conviction that scouting is a worthy means for furthering religious values is manifested through our encouragement of wide participation by Catholic youth in your movement, and through our formal approval of the International Catholic Conference on Scouting. This Conference-together f with the similar Conference for Guiding-maintains official and cordial relations with the competent departments of the Holy See, and aims at serving young people by ensuring that their scout training will provide for education in their Catholic faith, and prepare them for Christian witness in the world.
In carrying out this aim, however, it operates, as you know, within the world movement and in fidelity to the ideals and methods stemming from the inspiration of the movement’s founder, Sir Robert Baden-Powell.

It is our hope that Catholic scouts, who receive so much from scouting, will in return make an ever more loyal and valuable contribution to the world movement. We are confident that this will be facilitated by the fraternal relationships established between the International Catholic Conference and those who bear responsibility for the World Committee.

With all our heart we invoke the abundance of God’s blessings on your persons and on your arduous and esteemed activities. We pray that the entire Scout movement may be an effective instrument in helping the you of today and tomorrow to do their duty to God and to their country, and to realize the full implications and dignity of their high ideal: “to help other people at all times”.


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