Transgender man will be ordained Catholic Priest in Minneapolis

Religious leaders of a relatively unknown branch of Catholicism plan to ordain a transgender man to the priesthood on Saturday in Minneapolis.

One of only a half-dozen or so transgender clergy members in Minnesota, Shannon T.L. Kearns will set about starting the state’s first North American Old Catholic Church congregation following his ordination at Plymouth Congregational Church.

Established in 2007, the North American Old Catholic Church is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, though Kearns says he hopes to attract disenchanted Roman Catholics to his new, more liberal-leaning Minneapolis congregation.

“Church should be a place that welcomes all people and should be about working for justice in the world,” Kearns said during a recent interview. “That’s just a really important message to get out.”

The North American Old Catholic Church describes itself as “tradition rich with progressive Catholic values.” It ordains women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as well as married and divorced people, according to its website. It also touts “social justice” concerns such as gay rights, women’s rights and being good stewards of the environment.

The group grew out of the Old Catholic Church, which split from the Roman Catholic Church after the First Vatican Council in the late 1800s approved the idea of papal infallibility (the pope is not wrong when he speaks about doctrine).

– more at StarTribune.com.

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