RELIGION

Gays and Catholicism: Pope's words open door to confusion

In this Sept. 2015 photo provided by Erin X. Smithers, Michael Templeton poses with his dog in Lincoln, R.I. Templeton, 38, said he was fired from his job as music director at the Church of St. Mary in Providence, a post he held for five years, after marrying his same-sex partner. An ideological tug of war over his firing illustrates the confusion in some U.S. Roman Catholic parishes over Pope Francis’ words on homosexuality. The pope's declaration “Who am I to judge?” in 2013 energized Catholics who had pushed the church to accept gays and lesbians. Three years later, some gay Catholics and supporters who had hoped for rapid acceptance find themselves stymied by many bishops and pastors. (Erin X. Smithers via AP)

In this Sept. 2015 photo provided by Erin X. Smithers, Michael Templeton poses with his dog in Lincoln, R.I. Templeton, 38, said he was fired from his job as music director at the Church of St. Mary in Providence, a post he held for five years, after marrying his same-sex partner. An ideological tug of war over his firing illustrates the confusion in some U.S. Roman Catholic parishes over Pope Francis’ words on homosexuality. The pope's declaration “Who am I to judge?” in 2013 energized Catholics who had pushed the church to accept gays and lesbians. Three years later, some gay Catholics and supporters who had hoped for rapid acceptance find themselves stymied by many bishops and pastors. (Erin X. Smithers via AP)  (The Associated Press)

An ideological tug of war in a Rhode Island church illustrates the confusion that permeates some U.S. Roman Catholic parishes over Pope Francis' words on homosexuality.

Michael Templeton was fired from his job as music director at the Church of St. Mary in Providence after the pastor learned about the employee's same-sex marriage.

Francis is being cited by both Templeton and by Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin, known for taking a hard line on church teachings and being critical of Francis.

Francis' famous declaration "Who am I to judge?" in 2013 energized Catholics who had pushed the church to accept gays and lesbians.

But a gay Catholic's fate largely depends on his diocese or individual pastor.