Can you say “photo op”?
Margie Winters, accompanied by about 50 supporters and carrying a box of petitions signed by 23,000 people who want her reinstated as a Catholic school educator, could not get in the front door. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Center City offices were on lockdown Monday afternoon. A security guard politely but firmly refused to allow Winters to enter the building. “Because I’m so threatening,” Winters joked after handing the box to the guard and asking him to deliver it to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. Winters was fired June 22 as director of religious education at Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion for being in a same-sex marriage, something she told the school about when she was hired eight years ago. We ask for full inclusion at the table and in the church,” Winters told her cheering supporters Monday. “And we ask now for a moratorium on firing any LGBT employee.” Winters questioned the archdiocese’s repeated claim that it played no role in her firing. An anonymous complaint to the archdiocese in June “very quickly” set in motion her firing, Winters said. “It wasn’t until the archdiocese was notified that something changed,” she said. “You can draw your own conclusions.” The petitions, addressed to Chaput, read, “Margie Winters’ firing was unjust and contrary to Catholic values, and she should be reinstated immediately. Please inform the school’s leadership that you will not interfere with their staffing or threaten their status as a Catholic school.” Archdiocesan spokesman Ken Gavin called the petitions “problematic.