The International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe is an international association officially recognised by the Holy See, with a participative status in the Council of Europe (Non Governmental Organisation).
In its present juridical form, it has existed since 1976 but indeed as early as 1963 some Christian associations of European Scouting gathered within the Federation of European Scouting (F.E.S.) by signing the “federal contract”. Through this act, the associations adhered to the Core Texts that constitute the “cement” linking all the various associations of the International Union.
The Core Texts are the following ones:
The Federal Statutes of the International Union,
The Charter of natural and Christian principles of European Scouting
The Religious Directory of the Federation of European Scouting,
The Scout Law, the Guide Law,
The Scout Promise, the Guide Promise,
The Scout Principles, the Guide Principles.
SETTLEMENTThe U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. exists in the following countries:
Canada (with 2 associations, one Catholic and one Protestant)
Germany (with 2 associations, one Catholic and one Protestant)
Rumania (with Catholic and Orthodox members)
All together, these associations gather about 55.000 members.
AIM OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNION“The Union aims at gathering, in one same community of faith, prayer and action, the various national associations of the European Guides and Scouts, the fundamental objective of which is to educate young people by using Baden Powell’s traditional scouting methods, based on the Christian values at the roots of our common European civilisation” (item 1.2.1. of the statutes).
SPIRITUAL REFERENCESThe International Union is composed of Catholic scouting associations. It acts and makes decisions according to the rules of this faith.However, with an open mind towards ecumenism, the International Union welcomes associations to other Christian confessions, in the conditions defined by the Religious Directory.
Thus Catholic and Protestant associations exist in Germany and in Canada, Orthodox associations exist in Bulgaria and in Russia, and the Rumanian association gathers Catholic and Orthodox members.
The intangible rule of the International Union is not to gather in the same group youths of different confessions, in order to avoid in their minds any risk of relativism or scepticism.
PEDAGOGICAL REFERENCESAll associations federated in the International Union practise traditional scouting, according to the pedagogical bases established by Baden Powell. Besides, they have kept Father Sevin’s inheritance. At his time, he has adapted British and Anglican scouting to the context of catholic countries of continental Europe. The texts of the law and of the promise, as well as the ceremonial, common to all associations of the International Union, belong to this inheritance.The “patrol system”, which is the pedagogical basis of scouting, is practised in all associations and guides and scouts – although they belong to one movement in each country – are educated in specific structures, under the control of their own hierarchies (one for each section).
The Charter of natural and Christian principles of European Scouting defines the main ideas of scouting which is applied in the associations federated by the International Union.
RELATIONSHIPS OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNION WITH THE CHURCHLike each national association, the International Union has always asserted its attachment to the Church and its faithfulness to the Holy Father and to the bishops in communion with him.In tutte le associazioni, gli Assistenti devono sempre essere in comunione con il rispettivo Vescovo e da lui autorizzati a svolgere il loro ministero tra gli Scouts e le Guide.
Scouting was born in England during the first years of the twentieth century. Very quickly, the scout movement crossed the borders of the British Empire, for which it had been conceived initially, and spread out in the whole world.
It reached countries of old Catholic tradition where, beside scout initiatives of non confessional or multi-confessional type, official Catholic scout initiatives appeared. This was the case in Belgium, Italy and France in particular.
We may rightly consider that Father Jacques Sevin (French), Professor Jean Corbisier (Belgian), the Earl Mario di Carpegna (Italian) are the founders of Catholic scouting. They respectively promoted the Catholic associations ofof “Scouts de France”, “Baden Powell Belgian Boy Scouts”, “Associazione Scautistica Cattolica Italiana” (A.S.C.I.). From their commitment, the “International Office of Catholic Scouts” was also born. Its aim was to constitute a point of reference for all Catholic scouts.
Sevin, Corbisier and Carpegna managed to adapt to the Latin and Catholic context of their countries, without modifying it, an educational method born in an Anglo-Saxon and Protestant context. Baden Powell said: “Our programme has four aims: the education of character, manual ability, physical health and the service of others”. The founders of Catholic scouting emphasized a fifth aim: “Christian formation”.
Nevertheless their attempts to reach a closer understanding and brotherhood between all Catholic scouts hurt against the events of those years and against the apparition of authoritarian regimes and dictatorships which forbade scouting or greatly limited its freedom of action.
The beginnings of the F.E.S.
Years later, after the Second World War, when we were trying to build the popular educational context, new initiators came back to the proposals of the founders of Catholic scouting. This first happened on an ecumenical basis, and then the initiative evolved towards an officially Catholic federation.
On November 1st 1956 in Cologne, Germany, about fifty young German and French chiefs met; they were Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox. Their meeting gave birth to the “Federation of European Scouting”.
Some of these chiefs had belonged to the “Europa-Scouts”, a scout organisation born three years before in Austria, but left it because they were disappointed by an organisation without any clear religious character, which did not consider national realities.
After three days of debate, a document in ten articles was redacted: the Federal Statutes. The first article says: The “Federation of European Scouting” is founded. It is an international scout association, composed of national sections. Its aim is to practise Baden Powell’s scouting, within the European context and the Christian bases included in the idea of united Europe.
As official emblem for all associations, the Federation adopted a Malta cross with eight points and a golden fleur-de-lis. This choice was not made by chance. It was on All Saints’ Day, when the Church proclaims solemnly the eight beatitudes to the whole world. For the F.E.S., these beatitudes are precisely symbolised by the eight points of its emblem.
From November 1st 1956 on, a yearly appointment began. It is called the Federal Council. It still lasts nowadays. At the Federal Council of the following year, a second text was redacted. It was entitled: the “Religious Directory”. It developed the first article of the Federal Statutes and fixed the rules of religious life in the units.
The Religious Directory of 1957 says in its first article: “The organisation called FEDERATION OF EUROPEAN SCOUTING recognises the full value of Christian faith. It acts and makes decisions according to the rules of this faith”.
Yet the Religious Directory of 1957 admits the possibility of so called « open » scout units, gathering young people of different confessions. But very soon we observed that the religious formation of the boys and girls was incompatible with this idea of “open” scout units. The level of scouting practised by these groups was very weak. So gradually most of these groups disappeared. This religious aspect will also constitute a source of difficulties with the English association, then with the Dutch one, because they refused a religious aspect for their groups and units. Consequently, after several attempts of making them come back to the common positions of the F.E.S., they finally left the Federation.
The founders’ spirit
A text to present the movement, written in 1960, may give clues to understand better the spirit of these young people.
“Some boys and girls declared that it ought not be possible to fight against one another every 20 years, and that millions of orphans should not be waiting for their turn to leave for a new war… In front of masses of corpses pushed by bulldozers, in front of razed towns, and kids burnt by napalm, something inside them arose and they shouted: “Enough!… We committed ourselves with all our strength to this battle against those who want to sow distrust and hatred among us… With only our smile and our hands open, and the little we possess – the heart of free and trustful human beings -, we went towards others, accepting the same red cross with a golden fleur-de-lis (…). Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, we only wanted to remember that Christ had died for us. We only wanted to see a Christian in one another, a human being loved by God”.
These young chiefs also dared add something new and important to the text of the Promise: faithfulness to Europe. Thirty years before it was adopted by the European Union, the twelve golden star flag floated on all F.E.S. camp. The first Guides and Scouts of Europe also saw in it a Christian symbol too.
In 1956, simultaneously to the Federation, the German F.E.S. association was also founded, not officially. The French chiefs registered their association in 1958 only. In 1959, an F.E.S. association was created in England and the Belgian association was born in 1960..
The apparition of core texts
In 1962, Perig Géraud-Keraod and his wife Lizig joined the French F.E.S. association. In a few years, they transmitted to the movement a specific spirit and a living dynamism, in a word a soul. They remained general commissioners of the French association for almost 25 years. They were also responsible for the F.E.S. at the European level. Thanks to their action and in spite of external difficulties, the F.E.S. knew a considerable development in France and throughout Europe. In 1986, when the couple left its functions, the F.E.S. counted more than 50.000 members. These considerations allow us to assess that, as a matter of fact, they were the real founders of the F.E.S..
Perig Géraud-Keraod (1915-1997) was a scout when he was young. During the Second World War, he took an active part in the resistance. After the Liberation, he was active in the Breton Catholic Mission in Paris. With his wife, he helped for welcoming very numerous emigrants who were then leaving Brittany to settle in the Parisian region.
Thanks to the action of this couple, the Religious Directory was revised in March 1963. A large part of the Charter of Catholic Scouting, which the Holy See had promulgated on June 13th 1962, was integrated into it. At that moment too, the ceremonial and the uniform were defined and the first training camps for chiefs and for patrol chiefs took place.
This couple also started a huge work of reflection on the principles of Scouting, leading in June 1965 to the redaction and signature by the federated associations of the « Charter of natural and Christian principles of European scouting ».
In 1971, an association was created in the Netherlands and it wanted to join the F.E.S. As it was said before, some religious problems appeared later on in this association. After several attempts from the federal leaders, the Federal Council finally and reluctantly had to exclude this association from the Federation. For the same reason, the Federation was forced to take a similar decision towards the English association, reluctantly too.
In 1975, the F.E.S. organised a pilgrimage to Rome for the Holy Year. It was the only Catholic scout association in the world to do so. The Holy Father, Paul VI, expressed publicly his satisfaction and his encouragement for the work and action of the F.E.S..
In 1973, the Canadian association was founded. In 1976, a Catholic association started again in Germany. Associations were also created in Italy and Luxemburg.
Then, in order to take these new developments into consideration, and in the expectation of the future, the F.E.S. settled its organisation on more appropriate bases. New federal statutes were redacted. They established the Catholic character of the Federation. While remaining open ecumenically to the other Christian confessions according to the conditions established by the Religious Directory, it went on acting and making decisions according to the rules of the Catholic faith. So the Religious Directory remained the basis for the understanding and the collaboration between Christian people of various confessions, within a same federation.
With the new federal statutes, the official name became the one which is still valid nowadays: “”Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d’Europe – Fédération du Scoutisme Européen” (International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe – Federation of European Scouting). From that moment on, the F.E.S. thus became the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E., even if we go on using the old abbreviation F.S.E. according to custom.
In 1977 the Protestant German association and the Swiss association were founded, then the Spanish and Portuguese associations in 1978. The Austrian association appeared in 1981.
On March 12th 1980, the Council of Europe granted to the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. the advisory status. Now it has become a participative status.
After the fall of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, new associations were born. This was the case of Hungary in 1990, Rumania in 1991 and Lithuania in 1992. In Poland, the Catholic scout association ZAWISZA, founded clandestinely in 1982, joined the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. in 1995.
In 1994, on the occasion of the international gathering of the Eurojam, organised by the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. in Viterbo, His Holiness John Paul II received 7.500 guides and scouts coming from whole Europe and Canada in an audience in Saint-Peter’s Basilica. He gave them an important speech representing a fundamental reference in the life of the Federation. The main action lines for the whole U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. come out of it.
In the following years, new settlements appeared in Albania, Bulgaria, Byelorussia, Latvia, Czech Republic and Ukraine. In 2003, the Russian association ORIOUR was admitted as “observer”.
In 2003, a Eurojam gathered in Zelazko, in Poland, 9.500 scouts and guides. The Holy Father John Paul II sent a message to the participants.
Nowadays, the U.I.G.S.E. is composed of more than 55.000 members in about twenty European countries and Canada.
It depends on you! If you decide to stay at home or on the beach, if you prefer your egoism, your comfort, your security…, then the WYD will only be a myth, a remote event which does not concern you.
But if you hear the Holy Father telling you: “Dear friends, once again I invite you to attend World Youth Day in Madrid. I await each of you with great joy. Jesus Christ wishes to make you firm in faith through the Church”…
If you consent before hand to the gift of yourself, if you do not belong any longer to yourself but to the others, if you are ready to serve, if you ask to be considered as always on duty…
… then the World Youth Day will become a reality.
Dear young people, the Church depends on you! She needs your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope. Your presence renews, rejuvenates and gives new energy to the Church.
Benedict XVI would like “all young people – those who share our faith in Jesus Christ, but also those who are wavering or uncertain, or who do not believe in him – to share this experience, which can prove decisive for their lives. It is an experience of the Lord Jesus, risen and alive, and of his love for each of us”.
The FSE relies on you too and offers you the possibility of serving the pilgrims in their accommodation places. Before their arrival, you will spend two days meeting your brothers and sisters coming from twenty associations. Then, during the WYD itself, the duty in the morning and in the evening will be completed during the day by the participation to great events: catecheses in your language, youth festival, welcome of the Holy Father, Way of the Cross, main vigil and final Mass.
So, can you still hesitate? Come in touch with your general commissioner for more details.
The aim of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe – Federation of European Scouting – is clearly expressed in the item 1.2.1. of its Federal Statutes, where it is written that the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. “aims at gathering, in one same community of faith, prayer and action, the various national associations of the European Guides and Scouts, the fundamental objective of which is to educate young people by using Baden Powell’s traditional scouting methods, based on the Christian values at the roots of our common European civilisation”..
The U.IG.S.E.-F.S.E. wants to contribute to youth’s religious, moral, civic and physical formation, through the practice of the scout method, according to Lord Baden Powell, the founder of scouting, in the tradition of Catholic scouting launched by father Sevin, the Earl di Carpegna and Professor Corbisier.
The Federation considers scouting as a means of apostolate within the Church; nevertheless, it does not see the use of the scout method as an end in itself but as an instrument for the formation of authentic men and women, inserted in a supernatural way in which they apply evangelic values at the service of the world.
The U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. gathers scout associations of Catholic confession. It acts and makes decisions according to the rules of this faith.
However, with an open mind towards ecumenism, the U.I.G.S.E-F.SE. also welcomes associations from other Christian confessions, according to the conditions settled by the Religious Directory. The intangible rule of the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. is not to gather in the same units boys or girls of different confessions.
In this ecumenical perspective, the use of the term F.S.E., rather than U.I.G.S.E. or U.I.G.S.E-F.S.E., has been maintained in some associations because this abbreviation means something wider to the Evangelic and Orthodox communities belonging to the Federation.
All associations federated by the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. practise traditional scouting, on the bases settled by Baden Powell, in a Christian interpretation; they fully welcome the inheritance of the founders of Catholic scouting: Father Jacques Sevin, the Earl Mario di Carpegna, Professor Jean Corbisier. The text of the Law, of the Promise, of the Principle and the Ceremonial belong to this inheritance.
The Charter of natural and Christian principles of European Scouting, the Religious Directory, the Federal Statutes, define the main lines on which the scouting practised by the associations of the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. is founded.
So the U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. is an educational movement aiming at forming good Christians and good citizens, considering in youth:
Formation of character and personality,
Sense of concrete things and manual ability,
Physical development through simple life in the open air,
Sense of charity towards the neighbour and preparation to social and civic life.
The U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. considers male scouting and female guiding as two different experiences and applications of the same educational scout method. Above all for educational reasons and in order to respect everyone’s vocation, the associations of Guides and Scouts of Europe welcome boys and girls in different units, with separated activities for the two sexes. Each association of Guides and Scouts of Europe is a unique movement in its spirit and its management, but it excludes any promiscuity in the units. By avoiding artificial separations, it even considers that the education of boys and girls must take place in different structures, in which it is possible to foresee some meeting moments.
The U.I.G.S.E.-F.S.E. wants to keep with other associations, or federations, or scout and guide movements, be they Catholic or not, correct and fraternal relationships to work together and build a fairer and more fraternal society, according to Baden Powell’s spirit and within the context of their specific educational project.
Ich verspreche bei meiner Ehre,
daß ich mit der Gnade Gottes mein Bestes tun will, meine Pflichten gegenüber Gott, der Kirche, meinem Land und Europa zu erfüllen,
meinen Mitmenschen jederzeit zu helfen und dem Pfadfindergesetz zu gehorchen.
Por mi honor y con la gracia de Dios,
prometo servir a Dios, a la Iglesia, a mi patria y a Europa,
ayudar a mi prójimo en cualquier circunstancia,
y cumplir la ley scout (guía).
Ik beloof op mijn erewoord, met Gods genade en naar best vermogen:
God, Kerk, de koning, mijn land en Europa te dienen;
mijn evennaaste te helpen in alle omstandigheden;
de scoutswet na te leven
FRANÇAIS – BELGIQUEFRENCH – BELGIUM
Sur mon honneur, avec la grâce de Dieu,
je m’engage ŕ servir de mon mieux Dieu, l’Eglise, le roi, ma patrie et l’Europe,
ŕ aider mon prochain en toutes circonstances,
ŕ observer la loi scoute (guide).
FRANÇAIS – FRANCE – SUISSEFRENCH FRANCE – SWITZERLAND
Sur mon honneur, avec la grâce de Dieu,
je m’engage ŕ servir de mon mieux Dieu, l’Eglise, ma patrie et l’Europe,
ŕ aider mon prochain en toutes circonstances,
ŕ observer la loi scoute (guide).
Con l’aiuto di Dio,
prometto sul mio onore di fare del mio meglio per servire Dio, la Chiesa, la patria e l’Europa,
per aiutare il prossimo in ogni circostanza,
per osservare la legge scout (delle Guide).
Dodot goda vārdu,
es apņemos ar Dieva žēlastības palīdzību,
kalpot cik vien labi spēšu Dievam, Baznīcai, savai tēvijai un Eiropai,
palīdzēt savam tuvākajam jebkuros apstākļos,
ievērot skautu (gaidu) likumus.
Savo garbe iš Dievo malones, aš pasižadu:
tarnauti Dievui, Bažnyciai, tevynei, Europai.
Padeti artimui visose aplinkybese ir laikytis skautu istatu
Becsületszavamra fogadom, hogy Isten segitségével kötelességeimet, melyekkel az Istennek, az Egyhŕznak, hazŕmnak és Európŕnak tartozom, tölem telheöen teljesitem, embertŕrsaimnak mindig segitek és a cserkésztörvénynek engedelmeskedem.
Na mój honor, z laska Boga, przyrzekam calym zyciem sluzyc Bogu, Kosciolowi, mojej Ojczyznie i Europie chrzescijanskiej, niesc w kazdej potrzebie pomoc bliznim, i przestrzegac Prawa Harcerskiego.
Por minha honra, com a graça de Deus,
comprometo-me a servir com todas as minhas forças: Deus, a Igreja, a pátria e a Europa.
A ajudar o próximo em todas as circonstâncias,
obedecer ŕ lei do escuteiro (da guia).
Честным словом обещаю,
что буду исполнять свой долг перед Богом и родиной,
помогать ближним и жить по законам разведчиков (скаутов).
Cu ajutorul lui Dumnezeu,
promit, cu onoarea mea, sa fac cît pot binele, sa servesc Biserica, tara si Europa,
sa ajut aproapele meu în orice situatie si
sa respect legea cercetasilor.
Mbi nderin tim dhe me ndihmën e Zotit,
zotohem t’i shërbei më mirë Zotit, Kishës, atdheut tim dhe Europës,
të ndihmoj të aférim tim në çdo rrethanë,
të zbatoj Ligjin Skaut.
Scouting has been desired by its founder as an educational method, as complete as possible: it necessarily includes the religious education. “The scout is a believer and I repudiate all type of scouting that would not be based on religion” (Baden Powell).
It seems clear that the organisation needs of the scout movement cannot, in any case, prevail upon the education of its members. On the contrary, we must tend to settle structures allowing the full religious development of all young people: scouting is an educational method that must serve spiritual life, and not the reverse.
The Federation of European Scouting professes its Christian faith. It assumes all its acts and decisions according to the rules of this faith. The unity of Europe was realised thanks to Christianity. Christianity has constituted the animating element of a common European civilisation, with differences in its means of expression, but interdependent in its spirit, its social conceptions, its institutions and its patrimony of cultural values.
The F.S.E. thinks that Europe may know a renewal of Christian civilisation thanks to men who will know that their supernatural destiny goes beyond temporal structures, and who will fulfil the requirements of the Gospel in their everyday life. The F.S.E. wishes to contribute to the unity of a Europe open to all countries of the world, working at giving birth to a new brotherhood of peoples in Christ.
The F.S.E. gives the primacy to each Christian’s vocation to holiness. A scout or a guide must follow his/her promise, principles and law according to the requirements of the Sermon on the Mountain, true Charter for any Christian life. In this sense, the F.S.E. is called to be ever more a means of sanctification in the Church, a means favouring and encouraging a closer unity between its members’ concrete life and their faith. In this aim, the F.S.E develops at all levels a specific pedagogy, particularly thanks to its magazines, its training camps for its chiefs’ formation, its national and federal activities. More particularly, the F.S.E considers that a differentiated education for girls and boys, within different units, constitutes an essential point of its pedagogy. The parallelism and the mutual enrichment of both sections, male and female, lead to the full flourishing of aptitudes and tendencies given to each sex by God’s Providence. As the law says, the scout or the guide is a friend to all and a brother/sister to any other scout/guide. This is why the F.S.E. belongs to the big scout and guide family and works with it for the edification of a more just and fraternal society, according to Baden Powell’s spirit and within the context of its original educational project.
A Christian belongs to Christ’s visible Church; he/she takes part in its liturgical and sacramental life and receives its action lines from the Church. If on the one hand, at the federal level, the Federation of European Scouting may not be totally linked to one Church only, any F.S.E. member must, on the other hand, belong to one Church or get ready to belong to it. The F.S.E. only accepts young people and associations belonging to one of the following Churches: the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church or one of the Protestant Churches born from the Reformation, confessing Christ’s divinity and recognising the Apostles’ Creed at the faith definition. Any FSE scout or guide unit must have a clear position towards one of these Churches.
Nobody can pronounce the scout (or guide) promise without being baptised. However it is possible to admit to the promise a scout (or guide) involved in the catechumenal preparation.
Each Church has a very precise conception of education. We cannot conceive that religion should be taught separately; it has to irradiate with its light all the knowledge communicated and all the activities which are developed. In a conception of scouting faithful to Baden-Powell’s thought, a separation between religious life and technical life should not be admitted in the unit. So the young people’s full religious development requires that their chiefs belong to the same Church as them, profess the same doctrine, take part in the same liturgical and sacramental life. This is why the F.S.E. considers as a normal situation when the national communities of European Guides and Scouts constitute homogeneous confessional associations, which are spiritually animated and guided by their Churches, as well at the local level as at the national level.
At all levels, chiefs must favour the ministry of religious advisers towards the young people they are responsible for.
It is important for religious advisers to deepen their knowledge of the scout method so that they may take the scout and guide specificities into account in their pastoral work, without substituting the lay chiefs in their task. Youth, more particularly young chiefs, must not simply be considered as the object of the pastoral solicitude of the Churches: they must be encouraged to become what they really are, that is to say active subjects partaking in the evangelisation and social renewal of the world that surrounds them.
If several Christian confessions exist in the same country, scout and guide units belonging to the various Christian Churches may coexist in a same association, each group welcoming members of a same Church.
Yet, exceptionally, a young Christian boy/girl may integrate a unit belonging to another Christian confession than the one in which he/she was baptised, should no group of his/her confession exist nearby. In this case, chiefs will carefully inform the young boy/girl’s parents about the confessional aspect of this group; they will also make sure that the parents agree to their child’s integration into this unit.
As soon as possible, the national association settles a religious animation team for each Church, with chiefs and religious advisers, in particular in order to be in conformity with the faith pedagogy and main lines of the respective Churches. The national association will carefully control that each Church is duly represented in the local and/or national leading teams of the association.
At the age of education, which is childhood and adolescence, we cannot mix regularly, without any need, youths of different confessions without taking the risk of putting them on the way of relativism or scepticism. No inopportune mixture must happen on the pretext of unity: at this age, it is indispensable that everyone should remain, fully and totally, in the faithfulness to his/her Church, giving thus a true and sincere testimony of the faith he is proud of, with good reasons. But European Scouting offers to rovers and rangers, who are going to enter adult life, possibilities of inter-confessional meetings, the benefit of which should not be lost. At the chiefs’ level, such a dialogue is not only fruitful but indispensable: in front of the various materialisms that reign around us, either of Marxist origin or other, in front of the development of sects and religious indifference, they have the duty to work actively at building a human net that will testify to the universality of Jesus Christ’s Church in the world.
In any occasion – for instance during camps and meetings gathering F.S.E. associations or groups belonging to different Churches -, all facilities must be given to the religious advisers to meet young people on the very place of the camp, to take part in the ceremonies, meals, vigils, camp fires and meetings of all kinds. The camp leaders must remember that their first task is to facilitate the spiritual life of those they are responsible for, and to make sure they take part in the religious services according to the rules of their confession. They will take any useful decision in order to assure the celebration of the Mass at least each Sunday for the Catholics (if possible even every day during the camp), to assure the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Orthodox and the Cult for Reformed believers. The liturgical celebrations as well as the Cults will not be celebrated in common. The doctrinal reflections regarding ecumenical questions must be done according to the norms of the respective Churches.
When a national F.S.E. association opens itself to other Christian confessions, it does not mean that it loses its character of education movement of its own confession. But, on the other hand, the other Christian confessions must be able to assure integrally the religious formation of their members with the same rights and the same guarantees as the national association itself.
The following guarantees are assured to them:
creation of a religious animation team taking part in the councils of chiefs, at the various levels, according to the rules of the national association;
freedom, for each confession, as regards the formation of chiefs and youth:
to create badges of religion and religious tests compulsorily integrated to the technical programmes of the scout formation for each level;
to organise training camps, respecting the usual pedagogical guarantees, or, if these guarantees cannot be assured, to belong to the staff of the training camps;
to gather the young people, the chiefs and the religious advisers for common events such as meetings of chiefs, pilgrimages, retreats, etc.
to issue magazines of spirituality or doctrinal formation and magazines with a confessional aspect for the use of the religious advisers, chiefs and youth.
Text of the Religious Directory of the “Fédération du Scoutisme Euroépen”, modified unanimously by the recognised and candidate associations of the “Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d’Europe” during the Federal Council of Hohenstein (Germany) on November 15th and 16th 1997. Translated into English. The official text is in French.
OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF EUROPEAN GUIDES AND SCOUTS
EUROPEAN SCOUTING FEDERATION
(U.I.G.S.E. – F.S.E.)
Title I. PURPOSE
1.1.1. The international organisation so-called “UNION INTERNATIONALE DES GUIDES ET SCOUTS D’EUROPE (F.S.E.)” (International Union of European Guides and Scouts, Federation of European Scouting), is a private international organisation of faithful under Pontifical law. Apart from the norms of these statutes, the Union is ruled by the canonic law in effect.
In these statutes, it is generally designated by the term of Union or by the acronym UIGSE-FSE.
1.1.2. Any change to the present statutes will be done according to the norms of the Rules and will have to be approved by the Pontifical Council for Laity.
1.1.3. The UIGSE-FSE is open to the national associations that will adhere to the present statutes.
1.2.1. The Union aims at gathering, in one same community of faith, prayer and action, the various national associations of the European Guides and Scouts, the fundamental objective of which is to educate young people by using Baden Powell’s traditional scouting methods, based on the Christian values at the roots of our common European civilisation.
1.2.2. Beyond country borders, the Union wants to create a true community of Christian life for the youth of Europe’s various countries, and thereby to raise their awareness of belonging to a European community while developing, at the same time, a healthy culture of all national values, which are the diverse expressions of our common heritage.
1.2.3. Considering that party politics should not be the business of young people, the Union declares itself fully independent from any political body. It assesses, all the more forcefully, the general need to educate youth to be good citizens following Baden Powell’s scouting principles, and more particularly to educate to European citizenship which the Union intends to promote according to its particular aims.
1.2.4. The UIGSE-FSE wants to offer to youth:
the sense of God and a Christian formation;
the sense of love and of service to one’s neighbour;
the formation of character and of personality;
manual hability and sense of concrete;
1.2.5. The UIGSE-FSE believes in the supernatural, personal and unique destiny of each man and consequently refuses any social conception leading to any phenomenon of massification or collectivisation sacrifying man to society.
1.2.6. The UIGSE-FSE wants to form a man of faith, son of the Church.
1.2.7. The UIGSE-FSE gives the primacy to each Christian’s vocation to holiness. A Scout or a Guide has to be faithful to his Promise, his Principles and his Law according to the requirements of the Sermon on the Mountain, which is the true Charter of his whole Christian life.
In this sense, the UIGSE-FSE is called to be more and more a means of sanctification within the Church, a means favouring and encouraging a more intimate union between its members’ concrete life and their faith.
1.2.8. The UIGSE-FSE considers that a differentiated education for boys and girls within homogeneous units constitutes an essential point of its pedagogy.
A parallel and a mutual enrichment of both sections, male and female, enable a full development of the aptitudes and propensities given to each sex by God’s providential plan.
As the Law states it, the Scout or the Guide is a friend to all and a brother/sister to any other Scout/Guide. Relying on this, the UIGSE-FSE has its place within the big family of Scouts and guides and works to settle with them, according to Baden Powell’s spirit and original educational project, a more just and fraternal society.
1.2.9. The Union is composed of Catholic scouting associations. It acts and makes decisions according to the rules of this faith.
1.2.10. It is desirable that the catholic associations which are members of the Union should be acknowledged by the Bishops of their countries or by their national Bishop Conference.
1.2.11. With an open mind towards oecumenism, the Union welcomes associations belonging either to one of the Orthodox Churches, or to one of the Church Communities issued from the Reform confessing the Divinity of Christ and recognising the Symbol of the Apostols as definition of faith, adhering with full awareness to the fact that the Union is acknowledged canonically by the Catholic Church.
1.2.12. In a country where several Christian confessions exist, scout or guides units belonging to the various Churches or Communities may cohabit within a same association, each group welcoming the young people belonging to the same Church or Community, according to the norms of the Rules.
1.2.13. The youth’s full religious development requires that their chiefs should belong to the same Church or Community as theirs, should profess the same doctrine, should take part in the same liturgical and sacramental life.
1.2.14. Some non Christian young people may be exceptionally admitted within the units, on condition that their parents have previously accepted to recognise the confessional character of the Group.
No one may pronounce his Scout or Guide promise if he is not baptised. However, a Scout or a Guide may be admitted to pronounce his Promise if he is involved in the catechumenate.
1.3. PROMISE, LAW, PRINCIPLES
1.3.1. The Promise, the Law, the Principles are at the basis of scouting. All UIGSE-FSE associations adopt, each one in the language(s) of its own country, the following texts, the authentic text being the French one.
1.3.2. PromiseScout Promise
On my honour, and with the grace of God, I promise:
to do my best to serve God, the Church, my country and Europe,
to help my neighbour at all times
and to observe the scout law.
Promessa della Guida
On my honour, and with the grace of God, I promise:
to do my best to serve God, the Church, my country and Europe,
to help my neighbour at all times
and to observe the guide law.
1.3.3. LawScout Law
A scout’s honour is to be trusted.
A scout is loyal to his country, his parents, his leaders and to those who depend on him.
A scout is made to serve and save his neighbour.
A scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout.
A scout is courteous and chivalrous.
A scout sees in nature the work of God: he likes plants and animals.
A scout obeys willingly and does not half do things.
A scout controls himself: he smiles and sings even under difficulties.
A scout is thrifty and takes care of his own possessions and those of others’.
A scout is pure in his thoughts, his words and his acts.
A guide’s honour is to be trusted.
A guide is loyal to her country, her parents, her leaders and to those who depend on her.
A guide is made to serve and save her neighbour.
A guide is good to all and a sister to every other guide.
A guide is courteous and generous.
A guide sees in nature the work of God: she likes plants and animals.
A guide obeys willingly and does not half do things.
A guide controls herself: she smiles and sings even under difficulties.
A guide is thrifty and takes care of her own possessions and those of others’.
A guide is pure in her thoughts, her words and her acts.
1.3.4. PrinciplesThe scout’s Principles
A boy scout’s duties start at home.
Faithful to his country, a boy scout favours a united and fraternal Europe.
As a son of Christendom, a scout is proud of his faith: he labours to establish the reign of Christ in all his life and in the world around him.
The guide’s Principles
A girl guide’s duties start at home.
Faithful to her country, a girl guide favours a united and fraternal Europe.
As a daugher of Christendom, a girl guide is proud of her faith: she labours to establish the reign of Christ in all her life and in the world around her.
1.4. THE COMMON BRANCHES
1.4.1. As regards the scout units, branches are common to all the associations and are composed of:
Packs of Wolf Cubs, aged 8 to 12;
Troops of Scouts, aged 11 to 17;
Crews or Teams of Pilots and Rovers, as of 17 years old.
1.4.2. As regards the guide units, branches are common to all the associations and are composed of:
Pack of Brownies or Ladybirds, aged 8 to 12;
Companies Guides, aged 11 to 17;
Fires or Teams of Rangers, as of 16-17 years old.
1.5. REGISTERED OFFICE
The UIGSE-FSE is registered in the Federal Commissioner’s residential country. In case of transfer, it has to respect the national civil right in effect in the new country.
Title II. ASSOCIATIONS
2.1. The Union is composed of acknowledged and candidate associations.
If a national association asks for being admitted by the UIGSE-FSE, its request has to be approved by the Federal Council.
If the request is accepted, the national association becomes a candidate association.
The candidate association takes part in the life and activities of the Union but, according to the Rules, it does not have the same prerogatives and rights as the acknowledged associations.
When the Federal Council considers that the candidate association may be acknowledged, the association becomes a full member of the UIGSE-FSE with all the prerogatives and rights incurring from this new status.
2.2. In case of serious infraction to the present Statutes or to the Rules by a national acknowledged or candidate association, the Federal Council may decide to exclude the national association from the UIGSE-FSE by a majority of two-thirds of the members present or represented at the Federal Council and having a deliberative vote.
2.3. Norms common to all associations are contained in the Rules.
Title III. INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION
3.1. UIGSE-FSE STRUCTURES
The structures of the International Union of European Guides and Scouts are the following ones:
the Federal Council with its committees,
the Federal Bureau,
the Federal Commission.
3.2. THE FEDERAL COUNCIL (MEMBERSHIP)
The Federal Council members include members with deliberative vote and advisory members.
3.2.1. Members with deliberative vote
The members with deliberative vote are:
The Federal Commissioner, the Federal Chairman, the Federal Vice-Chairman, the Federal Secretary ;
The Scout General Commissioner, the Guide General Commissioner of acknowledged associations ;
Other members, according to the Rules.
3.2.2. Advisory members
The candidate associations are represented at the Federal Council with an advisory vote, according to the Rules.
The Federal Religious Adviser, as well as the Deputies and Assistants of the Federal Commissioner participate in the Federal Council meetings with an advisory vote.
The National Religious Advisers of each association take part in the Federal Council meetings with an advisory vote.
3.3. THE FEDERAL COUNCIL (RESPONSIBILITIES)
3.3.1. The Federal Council is the sovereign power (decision-maker) of the Union.If it is required by Law, the Federal Council may constitute both the general assembly and the Board of Directors of the international organisation.
3.3.2. The Council’s responsibilities include:
To admit and exclude associations;
To determine and approve the Union’s general course of action;
To elect the Federal Commissioner, the FederalChairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary;
To set up special committees;
To monitor the Union’s revenues, including to set the annual membership fee, to approve the Union’s budget and the Federal Commission’s account;
To select an auditor.
3.3.3. The Federal Council holds an ordinary meeting according to the Rules, which also indicates the modalities for the convocation and the running of the Federal Council as well as the rules for the elections.
3.4. THE FEDERAL BUREAU
3.4.1. The Federal Bureau includes the Federal Commissioner, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary.The members of the Federal Bureau are elected by the Federal Council for a three year mandate. They may be reelected.
The members of the Federal Bureau must be chosen among the members who fully adhere to the religious identity and to the aims of the UIGSE-FSE, according to item 1.1.1. of these Statutes.
The Federal Religious Adviser and the Federal Commissioner’s possible Deputies take part in the Bureau meetings with advisory vote.
3.4.2. The Federal Bureau is the executive commission of the Federal Council. The Federal Bureau is the warrant of the application of the decisions of the Federal Council, it supervises the general activity and the economic management of the International Union.
3.4.3. The Federal Chairman :
is the warrant of the application of the Federal Statutes and of the Rules of the UIGSE-FSE;
convokes and presides the Federal Council and the Federal Bureau;
represents the International Union towards the Holy See and, in particular, at the Pontifical Council for Laity.
3.4.4. The Federal Vice-Chairman:
is responsible for the charges that are entrusted to him by the Federal Chairman or by the Federal Bureau;
replaces the Federal Chairman when unable to attend.
3.4.5. The Federal Secretary is responsible for:
the organisation of the Federal Bureau and the Federal Council;
the administration of the activities organized by the Union;
the economic management of the Union.
3.4.6. The Federal Bureau meets at the frequency and conditions indicated in the Rules. It is convoked by the Federal Chairman.
3.5. THE FEDERAL COMMISSION
3.5.1. The Federal Commission is composed of the Federal Commissioner, the Federal Religious Adviser, one or several Deputies, and Assistants for precise tasks.
3.5.2. According to the norms of the Rules, the Federal Commissioner:
orientates and leads the activity of the Union;
settles friendly contacts with the various General Commissioners and national teams ;
controls the execution of the decisions taken by the Federal Council.
3.5.3. In its external contacts, the Union is validly represented by its Federal Commissioner, except for what is stipulated at item 3.4.3.
3.5.4. Federal Commissioner is accountable for his acts to the Federal Council.
3.6. THE FEDERAL RELIGIOUS ADVISER
3.6.1. The Federal Religious Adviser is a priest designated by the Federal Bureau, who asks the Pontifical Council for Laity to confirm this choice.This priest’s Bishop must have given his «nihil obstat» previously so that he may assume this role of Federal Religious Adviser.
3.6.2. The Federal Religious Adviser:
is designated for three years ; his mandate can be renewed once or several times;
is the Religious Adviser of the Federal Bureau and of the Federal commissariat, he advises them spiritually;
takes part in the doctrinal and educational reflection of the Movement and reminds the teaching of the Church on the field of Christian education of children and youth;
informs the UIGSE-FSE of the initiatives of the Holy See, especially in the field of education;
takes care of informing the Holy See of the life and activities of the Union.
On request of the federal leaders, the Federal Religious Adviser animates, with the possible help of the National Religious Advisers, meetings of reflection and of prayer and sessions of formation.
3.7.1. The revenues of the Union are composed of the annual membership fees paid by the associations, of the possible sales of magazines or other goods, gifts or possible subventions, possible properties of the Union.
3.7.2. Only the Union funds as above described are used to meet the Union’s liabilities, excluding liability for any of its member associations.
3.7.3. The management of the budget relies on the Federal Secretary.
3.7.4. The control of the accounts is made by an Auditor elected by the Federal Council.
3.7.5. All administrative acts concerning the properties of the Union have to be accomplished so that they may have a civil validity in the country where they are made.
3.7.6. As regards the possible sale of the properties of the patrimony, with a value superior to 1.000.000,00 Euro, the Federal Chairman asks for the concensus of the Pontifical Council for Laity.
Title IV. VARIOUS ITEMS
4.1. DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION
The dissolution and termination of the Union can only be if two thirds of the acknowledged associations are gathered at a Federal Council and by the majority of two thirds of the members with deliberative vote, present or represented at the Federal Council.
For the application of the present Federal Statutes, the Federal Council approves Rules with the particularities of the organization and the running of the UIGSE-FSE.