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LGBT-friendly Catholic denomination to ordain transgender priest

Friday, January 18, 2013
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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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