PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Catholic educator fired from a school on the Main Line is speaking out.
In an Eyewitness News one-on-one interview, Margie Winters tells Pat Ciarrocchi about her life, her marriage, and the hurt she feels about losing the job she’s loved.
“What it was like inside, was like a death.”
That was June 22nd, the day Margie Winters was fired as Director of Religious Education at Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion.
“It got to the core of who I am. And my ability to express that in the church,” said Winters.
A Catholic church that Margie and Andrea, her wife of seven years, both love and serve.
“It’s my faith. It’s my church and I don’t necessarily want to leave it. And I think my place is at the table,” said Winters.
Margie and Andrea have kept a low public profile despite parent rallies being staged to support them.
“I knew that they would be up in arms over this because we teach tolerance and we teach openness and hospitality at Waldron,” said Winters.
Margie believes that the tipping point on her firing from Waldron was a phone call that was made to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, complaining about her marriage to Andrea. She said she’s not angry about losing her job, but she is hurt.
“It’s been a lot of hurt, yes, you know, and maybe anger at the injustice,” said Winters.
They say that injustice rises from choosing someone of the same sex to love and marry in a church where dogma does not permit it even with a pope who when asked about homosexuality answered, “Who am I to judge?”
“I do not feel nor have I ever felt marginalized from the church, capital ‘C’ people of God,” said Andrea. “But I think there is some conversion that needs to happen within the church.”
Margie isn’t looking for work just yet. She’s navigating these new waters.
“Reinstatement, you know, I don’t think that’s in the cards,” said Winters.
“I mean it’s tough, but it’s tougher feeling excluded from the church,” said Andrea.
But would they leave the Catholic church?
These two women met while entering religious life as Sisters of Mercy, but then chose a life together instead.
“I actually feel like now we’re more committed to staying in this church than ever,” said Winters.