A progressive US Catholic Church has announced it will ordain a transgender man on 19 January.
Shannon Kearns will be tasked with starting a new parish in Minneapolis by The North American Old Catholic Church (NAOCC), aiming to combine traditional Catholic beliefs with embracing all people.
Kearns transitioned while he was studying for his Master of Divinity in New York.
He said: ‘I am honoured 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.’
Founded in 2007, the NAOCC is a LGBT-affirming Christian denomination that allows non-celibate LGBT individuals to be ordained in Holy Orders.
This church allows the ordaining of women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, married and partnered people, and those who have been divorced.
The DC-based church does not submit to the authority of the Pope because of his anti-gay views.
He said: ‘Such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.’