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MERION STATION, Penn., July 16, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - A lesbian is appealing to Pope Francis after her partner in sin, Margie Winters, lost her job at Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic school outside Philadelphia, once their "gay marriage" became known among the school community.
When school officials first decided not to renew Winters' contract, the principal had to send out an e-mail to the school community explaining the decision. Principal Nell Stetser wrote in early July, "In the Mercy spirit, many of us accept life choices that contradict current Church teachings, but to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings." He added, "[O]ur school recognizes the authority of the Archbishop of Philadelphia, especially in the teaching of religion, because we call ourselves Catholic."
In response to the ordeal, Winters exclaimed, "We would love to meet [Pope Francis] and let him get to know us and hopefully advocate for us as well. This should never happen again."
Now, Winters' partner, Andrea Vettori, wants to have a meeting with the Pope, too, when he visits Philadelphia this fall for the World Meeting of Families. In a letter addressed to Pope Francis, she says she hopes the Holy Father will intervene on their behalf and prevent the couple from being "condemned to live a life of exile from a Church that we so love and want to serve."
Amid the media frenzy surrounding Winters' lost job, Jim Kenney, the Democratic nominee for Philadelphia mayor, declared, "If you're a Church official and you feel that strongly that this woman and her partner are such a threat to society, stand up and say so." He then added how he hopes "the Pope comes in September and really puts some people in line."
Neither the lesbian couple nor Kenney appear to have good odds on their wish being granted. Pope Francis has in the past, as a cardinal, rejected homosexual unions as satanic. More recently, as pope, he has condemned many times what he refers to as "gender theory" — which includes any rejection of the traditional complementarity between man and woman perfected in marriage.
One man who certainly won't be intervening to get Winters' job back is Philadelphia's archbishop Charles Chaput, as he's already gone on record praising the schools commitment to Church teaching. According to Abp. Chaput, "There's nothing complicated or controversial in this. It's a simple matter of honesty."
"I'm very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church," he states. "They've shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon."