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St. Mary’s Academy Bans Female Referee

By Heidi Beirich on February 19, 2008 - 4:36 pm, Posted in Anti-Semitic, Radical Traditionalist Catholic

St. Mary’s Academy, a K-12 school and college run by the “radical traditionalist Catholic” group known as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and located in St. Marys, Kan., barred a female referee from officiating a boys’ basketball game held on its campus on Feb. 2. According to a Feb. 13 article in Sports Illustrated, the referee, retired police officer Michelle Campbell of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, was told that “as a woman, [she] could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy’s beliefs.”

In a Feb. 15 press release, SSPX stood by its decision to ban females from involvement in male sporting events: “Sports for boys are seen as training for the battlefield of life where the boys will need to fight at times through great difficulties. As such, it is more appropriate that it be men who train and direct the boys in these sports programs for only men can teach the boys to be men, just as only women can truly teach girls to be women.” The release disputed the Sports Illustrated story, saying, “It is not a question of women having no authority over boys as the quote in the paper (if it was accurate) seem [sic] to indicate. It is a question in athletics of men training boys to be men.”

After Campbell was barred from officiating, her fellow referees also walked off the court. Fred Shockey, an Army vet who became a ref about three years ago, told Sports Illustrated: “I have been led by some of the finest women this nation has to offer, and there was no way I was going to go along with that.” The Kansas State High School Activities Association is currently considering whether to take action against St. Mary’s.

Marcel-Francois LefebvreThe SSPX was founded in 1970 by the late French archbishop, Marcel-François Lefebvre (right), who was excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in the late 1980s. During World War II, Lefebvre supported the pro-Nazi Vichy regime, a puppet government in the part of France not occupied by the Germans. He lamented the eventual liberation of the country, describing it as “the victory of Freemasonry against the Catholic order of Petain. It was the invasion of the barbarians without faith or law!”

Besides the group’s obvious sexism, SSPX, like many radical traditionalist Catholic outfits, also preaches anti-Semitism, which is most evident in The Angelus, a monthly magazine published by the SSPX press, and on the SSPX website. One example now on the website is a 1997 Angelus article by SSPX priests Michael Crowdy and Kenneth Novak that calls for locking Jews into ghettos because “Jews are known to kill Christians.” It also blames Jews for the French Revolution, communism and capitalism; suggests a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy has destroyed the Catholic Church; and describes Judaism as “inimical to all nations.” (For more on the group’s extremism, read here and here).

  • Steve Sanborn

    Another joker joins the party.

    Excuse me, unlucky, did you read the posts?

    How hard is it to understand the cowardice of SPLC and the mega drive-by media who have no fear of taking direct aim at a Catholic organization for believing X, but tuck their little wimpy tails between their legs and bow down to the Islamic organization’s inherent right believe X?

    Do you get the double-standard concept?


  • unlucky 13

    How did the conversation turn out to be about Muslims.Everyone has the right to their own take on things including dissident Catholics.That’s why I’m glad that I live in a nation with the First Amendment,unlike many places in Europe where people can be arrested,tried and convicted by reason of what they’ve said or written.Generally,people are not imprisoned in the U.S. for written or verbal transgressions against the state or society at large unless they threaten others with violence or murder.(or slander with malicious intent in civil court)Better to have our freedom than Europe’s so-called security any day.+

  • Mark

    I just read the following link about the mosques in the US that are preaching anti-US hatred and advocating Sharia law.

    Say what you will about World Net Daily, but it can’t be legitimately argued that they don’t check and recheck their facts before publication, so it is certain this story is true.

    And being true that 75% of the mosques preach anti-US extremism is a pretty serious situation I’m certain nobody could legitimately argue against. There are about 7 million muslims in this country today, counting the Nation of Islam. The following link gives an estimate of between 5 to 8 million as of 1990. I’m estimating low at 5 million with 2 million more entering the US since 1990. There’s really probably a lot more than that.

    So we’re talking about over 5 million people who could very well be included in the 75% of anti-American advocates. I also believe this number to be low.

    The fact of the matters is that some of these people will be too young or too old to be of military age, and more than a few will be women, but the male extremists who comprise the greatest danger will still number in the millions. That’s quite an army within the borders of a nation, even one that has a total population of 300 million people, with a total number of military and police at around 2 million strong.

    We’ve seen how the immigrant Muslims and the home-grown ones have committed bombings, violence and other murders in Britain, France, Denmark and elsewhere, and the police there have a much tighter control on them than we do here. We’re more inclined to force grandmothers and grandfathers to take off their shoes at airports than we are to scrutinize a force of jihadists hiding within the ranks of mosque members. And, there’s no doubt the situation is a powder keg ready to explode.

    Seeing as to how that is the situation, should we really be criticizing a peaceful group of religionists who don’t happen to be politically correct and ignore a segment of the population that poses a very real danger?

    It seems like nonsense to me in comparison to the real threats to public safety.

  • Steve Sanborn

    Dave, you’re kidding right? Why don’t you throw in something like the SSPX believes the moon is made of cheese and that chocolate is evil…

    Where do you get your crap? Tell me Dave which Semitic people are you for or against? The Jews or the Arabs? Or do you love everybody… except SSPX priests? The SSPX are not “anti-semetic”, i.e., they do not hate Jews. If you’re looking for a hate monger, take a look in the mirror.

    By the way Dave, the Catholic Church does not oppose the death penalty… never has. Find me a document that says She does… I’ll write you a $50,000 check for it.

    PS. Dave, the SSPX has done nothing but condemn this so-called war on terror and has also done the same regarding preemptive strikes… why? Because it does not pass the Just War Theory laid out by Aquinas… Do some googling…

    Dave, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s father died in a Nazi concentration camp… did you know that?

  • Jason Greene

    None of the priests I know are anti-Semites. Are you a Jew?

    Actually the Church has always been neither for or against the death penalty… The Church would rather it didn’t happen but It is also for the upholding of a countries laws.

    The Church has always been against torture… I sincerely doubt that an SSPX priest has ever stated that they were FOR torture and The Church has always held the same position on preemptive war… “The only good war is a JUST war” regardless of who is fighting it. The Catholic Church is not a passivist church.

    Wiki… please… I can put anything I want there.. and notice how most of that stuff says “Alleged”.

    And yes… I believe that the direction of the priest IS more important… Are we there for the people or for Christ… I’d rather face Christ. Besides… that is not what the SSPX is about and by making a comment like that you have show that you really have no idea what this is all about.

    Time to stop drinking the kool-aid, stop supporting the Heretical SPLC, turn off your computer and open your Baltimore Catechism.

  • Dave von Ebers

    What vital teachings? You mean, like how the Church today condemns anti-Semitism? You mean, how the Church today opposes the death penalty? How the Church today opposes torture? How the Church today opposes the war in Iraq and preemptive war?

    The Society of St. Pius X opposes the Catholic Church on all these issues. Those things are just slightly more consequential than whether the priest faces the congregation when he says mass, don’t you think?

    And anyone who supported the Vichy traitors in France is a coward, plain and simple.

    Want more proof? Go here:

  • Jason Greene

    Oh Dave… please tell us all which of the “vital teachings” the SSPX opposes and what is “anti-catholic”.

  • Jason Greene


    Evil? Please provide proof that they are “EVIL” and then with whatever it is that you find, compare that to the fruits of Vatican II and the clown mass/guitar mass/dorito mass/Wonder bread mass etc. that we see today…

    How about the decline of religious vocations or the infiltration of The Church with Homosexuals and masons…. funny, that is NOT EVIL but a bunch of priests that are holding fast to the traditional teachings of The Church are EVIL.

    Get a clue man and stop regurgitating what the liberal media vomits out… learn something for yourself.

  • Steve Sanborn


    If you were any dumber on this issue I’d have to give you a free ride on the short bus.

    As any typical liberal does… you spout garbage with no proof to back your garbage up.

    Dave please do take a few minutes to find the proof for what you are saying about Lefebvre and the SSPX. That’s my challenge to you.

    PS. Thanks Heidi for not posting my last comment. It’s quite clear what you are.

  • Steve Sanborn

    The SPLC’s HateWatch… Looking for new people and organizations to hate everyday!

  • Dave von Ebers

    Jason Greene,

    There’s only one problem. The Society of St. Pius X is not a Catholic institution. Its leaders have been excommunicated and it has been denied official recognition by the Church. Its teaching is wholly anti-Catholic, in that the Society opposes most of the Church’s vital teachings.

    Please do not equate this evil organization with the Catholic Church.

  • Jason Greene

    You are tolerant of all except the intolerant… which makes you a hate monger and intolerant.

    You hate Catholics who stand up for what they believe… you hate Catholics.

  • Barb

    Thanks for the clarification from the school and from Dave Ebers. I wonder how many male referees are run into in a game. Is that common?

  • crossbow

    Yes, the above poster is right on. Nothing is ever written about Muslims in the West who hold far more restrictive rules for women in their societies.

    It’s as if they’re afraid they might be on their next jihadic hit list.

    Sharia law will become much more prevalent in the West as Muslim influence and power grows. In fact, in the UK, many imams and rank and file are now demanding that their enclaves be allowed to administer Sharia law.

    It won’t be long before there is the same pressure in the US.

  • Dave von Ebers

    Anti-Catholic? Funny, I’ve been Catholic all my 45 years and so far as I know, there’s nothing “anti-Catholic” about criticizing an excommunicated schismatic who preached anti-Semitism, supported torture, argued that the Inquisition was proper, defied the Church’s long standing opposition to capital punishment, and blatantly disregarded the authority of the Holy See by consecrating bishops in defiance of the Pope. Seems to me, these traditionalist “Catholics” — the ones who oppose the most vital teachings of the modern Church — are the ones who are truly anti-Catholic.

  • Berura Singer

    Your allegations regarding Abp Lefebvre and his “pro-Vichy” sympathies are news to me. In all my reading about the Abp I never encountered this. I think you are repeating falsehood, for reasons best left to you at SPLC to figure out.

    I am amazed at your preaching tolerance and then tolerating anti-Catholic propaganda in the same breath. Sad.

  • Attention

    Women can be judges now?!?

    What, are we not living in the 15th century?

  • Steve Sanborn


    Since I know the SSPX does not espouse this idea of ‘women and authority’ that has been alleged all over the world by the empty heads in the media, such as yourself, I’ll ask one question that I believe has been overlooked to date on this tired issue.

    What say you about Islamic organizations that actually have this policy regarding women?

    I’ll assume not a damn thing.

    Steve Sanborn

  • Caitlin

    Press Release – February 19, 2008

    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

  • spinetingler

    >Is anyone else hoping the case goes to a female judge?

    sweet justice.

  • Dan (Fitness)

    Is anyone else hoping the case goes to a female judge?