St Mary’s Academy, recently in the news for pulling the plug on a woman referee for a boys’ basketball game, sets the record straight with a press release:

It was falsely alleged and widely reported that the decision of St. Mary’s Academy not to allow a woman referee to officiate at a basketball game was based upon the idea that women can never have authority over men. This alleged reason was neither stated nor is it held by any official of St. Mary’s Academy, as evidenced by the fact that the faculty and staff of St. Mary’s includes many honorable ladies of talent and erudition. Logically, St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic institution, adheres in spirit and discipline to Divine Law. The Fourth Commandment obliges due honor to father and mother, as well as to all authority.

St. Mary’s Academy follows the directives of the Catholic Church regarding co-education. The Church has always promoted the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education (Cf. Divini Illius Magistri – Encyclical on the Christian Education of Youth, by Pope Pius XI, 1929 and The Instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Religious on Co-Education, A.A.S., 25 (1958) pp. 99-103). This formation of adolescent boys is best accomplished by male role models, as the formation of girls is best accomplished by women. Hence in boys’ athletic competitions, it is important that the various role models (coaches and referees) be men.

In addition, our school aims to instill in our boys the proper respect for women and girls. Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we cannot place them in an aggressive athletic competition where they are forced to play inhibited by their concern about running into a female referee.

Rev. Fr. Vicente A. Griego
Headmaster, St. Mary’s Academy

A couple of things:

It took long enough. The accusations of misogyny, sexism, and all would have been dampened if school leadership was more forthcoming. When leaders are silent, all sorts of questions pop up.

Father Griego doesn’t say that girls cannot be refereed or coached by men. That would be a consistent policy if it were followed.

While I can appreciate his “additional” reason, it presumes some kind of incompetence in a woman referee potentially getting in the way. More often, one sees basketball players colliding with cheerleaders or members of the press than with referees.

Tip from Kansas City Catholic.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Church News, Commentary, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Clarification

  1. Dale says:

    Please do some research and fine that St. Mary’s was excommunicated FROM the Catholic church in the 1980’s

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