Shannon T.L. Kearns
Pro-LGBT Catholic Denomination to Ordain Transgender Priest

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com January 18 2013 8:58 PM ET

The North American Old Catholic Church, an LGBT-friendly denomination not affiliated with the Vatican, will ordain a transgender man as a priest Saturday.

Shannon T.L. Kearns will be ordained to the priesthood in Minneapolis, according to a press release. He will be serving a new Minneapolis parish, House of the Transfiguration, after his ordination.

“I am honored and humbled to have my calling to ministry affirmed by the North American Old Catholic Church,” said Kearns, who transitioned while attending Union Theological Seminary, where he received a master of divinity degree. “I look forward to many years serving as a priest.”

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

The denomination combines Catholic traditions and rituals with progressive values and welcomes all people, the press release notes.