Commend Archbishop For Allowing Co-Ed Football in Philadelphia

Target: Archbishop Charles Chaput

Goal: Praise Archbishop Charles Chaput for allowing girls to play in church football leagues.

11-year-old Caroline Pla has always participated in football games and organizations since she was in kindergarten. Pla has played for the Catholic Youth Organization in Philadelphia, PA for two years and was recently told that she would no longer be allowed to play for the league. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia stated that a new football policy banning girls from playing football would be put into effect. The archdiocese stated that this policy is meant to protect Pla and other young girls from the dangers of the sport. The All-star guard and defensive end was consequently kicked off the team. Due to Archbishop Charles Chaput’s overruling of the policy, Pla is now able to play football once more. Thank the Archbishop for overturning the boys-only policy.

When the boys-only policy was put into effect, Pla went straight to the Archdiocese to petition the policy. However her pleas did not have any effects on the Archdiocese. Pla and her mother, Seal Pla, started an online petition with the whole team’s support. The petition was created on and it received 108,000 signatures so far pressing the Archdiocese to change the policy. All the hard work also earned Pla an invitation to the Ellen DeGeneres show, spreading awareness about her cause. All of the publicity and popularity surrounding Pla’s determination ultimately got her what she wanted: a position on the football team.

The panel of members had voted once again after Pla’s petition and the panel had agreed to recommend to the church to keep the boys-only policy. After this ruling, the Archbishop Charles Chaput did not agree and demanded that the Archdiocese allow girls to play in the church’s football organization. According to CNN, the Archbishop’s statement read: “The Archdiocese will allow for co-ed participation in CYO football, effective in the 2013 season. The Archbishop is grateful for their time and prudent counsel. All possible factors were considered including the expectations of coaches, parents, and pastors, common current practice, legal circumstances and the CYO policies of dioceses around the country.”

Sign the petition to show your support for the Archbishop’s ruling.


Dear Archbishop Charles Chaput,

I would like to thank you for overturning the Archdiocese’s policy that only allows boys to participate in the church football organization. Caroline Pla, an 11-year-old girl, was playing on the football team for two years before she was told that she could no longer play due to her gender. Pla’s determination in getting her spot back on the football organization was admirable, and I am glad that you honored her position as a member of the football organization.

The Archdiocese stated that they had her safety and other girls’ safety in mind when they decided to cut her from the organization. Although they might have meant well, they did not care to listen to Pla’s petitions about why football is important in her life. When Pla asked for her spot back, the Archdiocese ignored her pleas. The decision you made to reverse this policy will allow Pla to continue to enjoy football and give other girls a chance in trying out the sport and deciding whether or not they like it.

Thank you for overturning the policy and allowing Pla and other girls to enjoy this sport.


[Your Name Here]

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80 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • Carole Mathews
  • Debbie Biere
  • Amy McKeon
  • Amy Wilson
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