US: Trans man to be ordained as Catholic Priest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A trans man is set to be ordained as a Catholic Priest in the US state of Minnesota by a church which combines traditional teachings with progressive values.

The North American Old Catholic Church will ordain Shannon Kearns on 19 January, who will be put in charge of a new progressive parish in Minneapolis.

The House of the Transfiguration will aim to combine the traditions of the Catholic church with progressive values, with a view to accepting all people.

Bishop Benjamin Evans of the diocese of New Jersey will preside. He said:

“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!”

Soon to be Father Kearns, commented on his upcoming ordination, saying:

“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.”

A press release from GLAAD described the church, established in 2007, as :

“The North American Old Catholic Church is a progressive Catholic tradition that welcomes all people. This church ordains women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, married and partnered people, and those who have been divorced. The North American Old Catholic Church focuses on social justice and developing new parishes.”

Despite not being a member of the Union of Utrecht, a federation of Catholic Churches not in communion with Rome, the North American Old Catholic Church aims to follow its teachings

Shannon Kearns holds a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of new York, and whilst there, he transitioned from female to male.

The fifth anniversary of the Soho Masses, the Diocese of Westminster’s provision for gay, bi and trans Catholics in London was celebrated with a “packed” ceremony, back in March.