Come the fall, female athletes playing on Catholic Youth Organization teams in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be allowed to play football.
Following an evaluation by coaches, parents, students and medical experts, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced today a provisional decision that would let female students play on what until now have been boys-only football teams in the CYO league.
“That policy reflected the Catholic thought that gender differences are important and play a large role in the development of mature Christian male and female identity,” Chaput’s statement reads. “It was also written in an effort to serve the distinct needs and abilities of male and female athletes and to ensure safety.”
Because “alternate opinions had merit,” the diocese will continue to review the policy and could make changes in coming seasons.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story did not clearly indicate which athletes can participate in CYO teams. NewsWorks regrets the error.