Non-binary bisexual Catholic priest wants you to know people of all genders are created in God’s image
A non-binary priest has been ordained to lead an independent, LGBT-inclusive Catholic church in San Diego.
Reverend Kori Pacyniak, pastor of San Diego’s Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community, was ordained by the rebel Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement – which is not recognised by the Vatican or the local San Diego diocese.
Non-binary, trans, bisexual priest leads LGBT-inclusive Catholic congregation.
Speaking to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Pacyniak – who identifies as trans, bisexual and non-binary – explained they were raised Catholic but grew disillusioned with the Vatican’s stances on sexuality and women.
They joked: “Other people wanted to become president. I wanted to overthrow the Vatican.”
While the Catholic Church still holds anti-LGBT+ beliefs and bars everyone but “natural males” from becoming priests, the newly-ordained priest preaches a more inclusive message.
Pacyniak, who holds a Master of Divinity and is studying for a doctorate in queer theology, said: “We have to get out of the hetero-nomative lens we use for understanding everything.
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“We have to make trans and queer folks see themselves as part of the liturgy.”
The priest explained that they had made subtle changes to make services more inclusive of all genders – with the liturgy line “We believe that all women and men are created in God’s image” replaced with “We believe that all people of all genders are created in God’s image.”
Church hopes to serve as a ‘beacon of hope’ to others.
Pacyniak told the newspaper: “Let’s make the tent as big and as open as we can. It’s an ongoing opportunity. Don’t get too comfortable; have conversations with people on the margins.”
Church-goers at Mary Magdalene have largely adapted to the new priest – though some have struggled to get the hang of using ‘they/them’ pronouns.
Pacyniak quipped: “This is hard? Learning to spell my last name as a child was hard. Welcome to my world!”
There are many LGBT+ congregants, with the church hosting same-sex weddings and services for Pride, the Transgender Day of Visibility and Coming Out Day.
The church says it aims to “serve as a beacon of hope to other reform-minded Catholics who desire change” – by “practicing radical inclusivity in worship, ministry and language, reaching out to those who feel marginalised by the traditional church.”