RELIGION

Catholics wrestle with teachings as gays are dismissed; fired teacher asks pope for moratorium

  • Margie Winters, right, and her wife Andrea Vettori pose for a photograph Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Glenside, Pa. Winters, a popular, married, gay teacher at a private Catholic school has garnered widespread support since she was fired and vows to seek out the pope's ear on LGBT issues when he visits Philadelphia next month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Margie Winters, right, and her wife Andrea Vettori pose for a photograph Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Glenside, Pa. Winters, a popular, married, gay teacher at a private Catholic school has garnered widespread support since she was fired and vows to seek out the pope's ear on LGBT issues when he visits Philadelphia next month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

  • Margie Winters, right, and her wife Andrea Vettori pose for a photograph Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Glenside, Pa. Winters, a popular, married, gay teacher at a private Catholic school has garnered widespread support since she was fired and vows to seek out the pope's ear on LGBT issues when he visits Philadelphia next month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Margie Winters, right, and her wife Andrea Vettori pose for a photograph Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Glenside, Pa. Winters, a popular, married, gay teacher at a private Catholic school has garnered widespread support since she was fired and vows to seek out the pope's ear on LGBT issues when he visits Philadelphia next month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

  • Margie Winters pose for a photograph Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Glenside, Pa. Winters, a popular, married, gay teacher at a private Catholic school has garnered widespread support since she was fired and vows to seek out the pope's ear on LGBT issues when he visits Philadelphia next month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Margie Winters pose for a photograph Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, in Glenside, Pa. Winters, a popular, married, gay teacher at a private Catholic school has garnered widespread support since she was fired and vows to seek out the pope's ear on LGBT issues when he visits Philadelphia next month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

The pope's vision for an "open door" church is bumping up against sometimes wrenching decisions involving gay employees at Catholic schools and institutions.

The issue has stirred debate in Philadelphia since the June dismissal of a married gay teacher at a Catholic elementary school.

Margie Winters says she was open with Mercy Waldron Academy officials about her marriage but believes a parent's complaint to the archdiocese forced the school's hand.

Archbishop Charles Chaput argues that Catholic schools must hold to church teachings, including its ban on same-sex marriage.

An advocacy group says over 50 people have lost their jobs at Catholic institutions over their sexual identity or orientation.

Winters plans to ask the pope for a moratorium on such firings if she gets to meet him next month when he travels to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.