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Minnesota

LGBT-friendly Catholic denomination to ordain transgender priest

Friday, January 18, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The North American Old Catholic Church, one of the largest Old Catholic bodies in the United States, announced it will ordain a transgender man into the priesthood on Saturday.

Shannon T.L. Kearns will be tasked with starting a new Minneapolis parish, the House of the Transfiguration, following his ordination.

Shannon T.L. Kearns

“This will be a pioneering parish in Minnesota; one that combines the traditions of the church with progressive perspectives and embraces all people,” according to the NAOCC, an LGBT-friendly denomination not affiliated with the Vatican.

“The North American Old Catholic Church looks forward to establishing a presence in Minneapolis with the ordination of Father Kearns,” said Bishop Benjamin Evans of the diocese of New Jersey, who will preside over Kearns’ ordination. “God’s Holy Spirit continues to bless us with growth!”

Kearns has a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. While in seminary he transitioned from female to male. Kearns says, “I am honored and humbled to have my calling to ministry affirmed by the North American Old Catholic Church. I look forward to many years serving as a priest.”

The NAOCC is a progressive Catholic tradition that welcomes and ordains ordains women, LGBT people, married and partnered people, and those who have been divorced.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. Episcopalian Catholics, they have no affiliation to Rome.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:25pm
  2. that must be what they mean when they say “not affiliated with the Vatican.” thanks for clearing that up!

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:29pm
  3. The Episcopal Church has been ordaining out trans men and trans women for a while now

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:29pm
  4. All very well but I’d be more interested in seeing people grow out of supertstitious beliefs.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:33pm
  5. It doesn’t seem there is any affiliation with the Episcopal Church in America since they don’t answer to the most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:36pm
  6. People will never grow out of religion, Red. Just how it is. Albeit religion can adjust to better morals, and hope that their followers will shift in turn- but atheism simply won’t prevail.

    Coming from an atheist who’s done extensive studies on these things- faith is too much of a foothold for humanity to forget. We just all ought to remember that the core values are good at heart.

    Semitic religions like Christianity stand for good intention, peace, love, and harmony. Problem is these were written in times that people thought these things corresponded with discrimination. Nowadays we realize they don’t.

    And a Catholic- one of the longest standing Semitic traditions- taking that to heart? This is as good news as any. =)

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:42pm
  7. The NAOCC is a cult. Michael Seneco, it’s founder, was a disgruntled Roman Catholic who decided to found his own church to suit his personal needs. He was ordained by a self-proclaimed Tibetan lama and atheistic “Franciscan priest” (however that works) named Gurudas Sunyatananda (born Gianmichael Salvato). Seneco is a self-absorbed whore who sees his male priests as something of a sexual appetizer. His organization is ridden with drug abuse, sexual abuse, manipulation, and lies. He prides himself on some misplaced sense of traditionalism, but barely believes in anything more than power and money. He uses pagans and atheists in his organization despite disrespecting both. He’s neglected priests in need of assistance because their parishes weren’t big enough, and he forces priests with non-parish ministries to be registered as parish priests to claim higher numbers of parishes around the country. He misrepresents himself, his organization, and his qualifications to trick Roman Catholics into thinking he’s a validly ordained cleric despite being nothing more than, to use a descriptor he ironically uses of others, an ecclesiastical drag queen, a sex-addicted outcast who never grew out of playing dress up.

    I understand the importance of religious organizations being open to LGBTs. But there is a limit. If we’re supporting organizations ridden with as much hypocrisy and scandal as Rome itself, what have we accomplished? Nothing.

    Sincerely,
    A former NAOCC Seminarian and former independent catholic priest, turned agnostic atheist.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:52pm
  8. They can call themselves “Catholic”. No one can stop them, but it doesn’t make it so.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:54pm
  9. It would be much healthier if GLBT’s simply LEFT Christianity.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:54pm
  10. Daniel, Old Catholics in the Netherland’s, those officially associated with the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, have an affiliation with the Episcopal Church in America, seeing it as the official Old Catholic representation in the United States. The NAOCC has no official affiliation with the Episcopal Church, and is not recognized by the Union of Utrecht as an official Old Catholic body. It’s independent in every sense of the word, and not by choice. Michael Seneco has tried and failed to gain Old Catholic support from Europe, and is left abandoned, with no one recognizing his non-existent validity. Neither the Episcopal Church, nor the Union of Utrecht, nor the Roman Catholic Church, nor any Orthodox Church, would recognized the orders of the NAOCC as the result of sub-par seminary education and extensive liturgical abuses.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:57pm
  11. It would be healthier if everyone online actually had some background in the very religions they bash. Besides a veneer of understanding of them without any in-depth research or experience into what they came from and believe at heart. Yet, most people I notice that make a life of bashing religions tend be nothing more than wounded theist. Usually I wouldn’t make an issue of it. However, as I pointed out regarding Dan Savage and his push to reach out to the Christian Left. There are plenty of believers of major religions that would help the LGBT community and do. There are LGBT believers that help reconcile the arcane views of sexuality due to religious bias due to their being able to humanize the issue on an individual basis. Yet, it is sad that you can’t be a believer of anything and be LGBT without having to get bashed by heterosexual fundamentalist right wingers and then get bashed again by homosexual atheist or wounded theist within the left wing. So don’t expect people to rush to your aid if you make a life out of hurting people for what they believe. All because you were burned by it once upon a time by someone who represented the selfish impulses of man’s religious nature.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:05pm
  12. Randy, by saying, “not affiliated with the Vatican”, they’re sugar-coating the reality that 1) any participants in the doctrinal and liturgical dealings of the NAOCC would be effectually excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church for heresy, and 2) that even if this were not the case, their sacramental orders are not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church or any other traditional ecclesiastical body. They cite the Roman Catholic encyclical “Dominus Iesus” authorized by Pope John Paul II and signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2000, which claims to honor the orders of all organizations with whom Rome shares the sacrament of the eucharist and the tradition of apostolic succession. However, in willfully declaring separation from Rome, in failing to honor the prescriptions of the Roman Magisterium, and in refusing to work toward unity with the Roman Church, the NAOCC has rendered their orders “illicit” in the eyes of Rome; further, in ordaining women, they have rendered their orders entirely invalid. Not only are they not affiliated with the Vatican, the Vatican sees them as entirely make-believe.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:05pm
  13. When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn???

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:34pm
  14. When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn???

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:34pm
  15. The Vatican is entirely make believe so they are equal then.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:48pm
  16. The Vatican is entirely make believe so they are equal then.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:48pm
  17. Woo…. don’t, tell the Vatican!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:11pm
  18. The Catholic Church today is mired in scandal, including shady financial dealings, pedophilia, and nuns who have been raped or have had abortions.Clergymen who commit pedophilia are often merely transferred or reprimanded by their superiors, who often cover up the crimes to spare the Church public humiliation and the need to pay large financial damages to the victims.

    Baptism, practiced by Catholics and other forms of Christianity, is a ritual that was initiated by conviction and then became tradition. Although Jesus baptized only adults, those baptized today have no say whatsoever about the matter, since they are usually infants. Their basic right to decide is preempted by others (generally their parents). Thus baptism as practiced today is imposed rather than an exercise of free choice.

    Islamic theocracies in many countries deny basic rights to women and mete out horrifying punishments to those who violate rigid, stultifying dress codes enforced by “dress police.” Young girls who run away from old men they have been forced to marry are stoned or publicly flogged, while those who dare to question the ruling regime, make statements against Islam, or deny the existence of Allah risk execution or life imprisonment.

    The holy books of the world’s major monotheistic religions contain many passages that incite violence or excuse the need to maim and kill under certain conditions. In wars, both sides claim to have God on their side, and members of their respective clergy send young men off to fight with religious blessings.

    In these examples, religions claiming to be guardians of moral values and truth are denying basic human rights, encouraging violence, practicing double standards, committing crimes against humanity, and deceiving the faithful.

    By apostatizing, you embrace truth and human rights, reject hypocrisy and double standards, and condemn the crimes and cover-ups committed and rationalized under the guise of religious conviction. In many cases, those who commit these acts or who shield those who do, never suffer consequences for the choices they have made. Let your apostasy be the consequence they deserve!

    When you disassociate yourself from a religious institution whose policies you deplore, apostasy is amply justified. Indeed, you MUST apostatize if you are to honor your values as an individual exercising free choice.

    Here you can download apostasy forms.

    http://www.apostasie.org/download.php?list.3

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:31pm
  19. The Catholic Church is the corporation more intolerant murderous and destructive that historically has existed.
    Their ideology is an ideology of hatred and war and an altarpiece of lies, cheating, contradictions, deceits and absurdities built for the sole purpose of annulling and denigrating the intelligence and the reason.
    The Christian morality is like a chloroform that neutralizes the pleasures and the imagination, to make our bodies our nearest enemy and to switch the truth into submission.
    The Papacy is an emissary of torture and lies, a puppet of the interests of the fascist Vatican state.
    The higher clergy is a band of social parasites, eager of power and plunder.
    The faithful Catholics are a humanity deceived, for whom I have solidarity and compassion.
    All victims of religious terrorism are a definitive proof of its guilt.
    The Catholic Church has put to death millions of individuals, has collaborated to the spread of HIV / AIDS per their negative to authorize Catholics the use of condoms.
    They do practice Symbiotic relationships of all kinds of totalitarianism, they encourage them, they justify and prostitutes before them.
    They bless the murderers and tyrants.
    They proclaimed holy crusades against women and men who have doubted its truth.
    They enslave the weak, flatter the generals and the leaders, promote hatred of the body, happiness and pleasure, insult the intelligence and intended to impose its absurd and primitive theology.
    They use gender hierarchies, relationships and feelings, according to the sinister moral they practice.
    They impose their phobias as sacred commandments, systematically attacking individual and collective freedoms.
    They plunder the people, relentlessly and with impunity, through its diplomatic agreements, concordats and their alliances with political power.
    They abuse children, fornicate with them, they are lying and abusing the humanity.
    They discriminate, they cover up for pederasts and pedophiles.
    They created the Inquisition.
    They light fires that have not yet ceased to burn.
    They despise science and knowledge.
    They torture, massacre and hide the historical truth.
    They manipulate the collective memory.
    They perpetuate their ideology, injecting it into children’s minds. Abetting conspiracy, falsifying and using violence to impose their pathological delusions.

    Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:33pm