Washington National Cathedral, seat of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, has announced that it will welcome the first transgender priest ever to give a sermon on its altar.
“Join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist on the second Sunday after Pentecost [June 22]. The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge is the guest preacher and the Right Rev. Gene Robinson is the guest presider in honor of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community’s Pride Month,” a notice on the cathedral’s website says.
“The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge is an Episcopal priest, theologian, and openly transgender man. He is the Episcopal chaplain at Boston University and lecturer and counselor to Episcopal/Anglican students at Harvard Divinity School,” the announcement reads.
In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the cathedral, said: “We at Washington National Cathedral are striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We want to proclaim to them as proudly and unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your sexual orientation is good because that’s the way that God made you.”
In a 2013 interview with Religion News Service, Partridge discussed his transformation from lesbian to priest to male priest. He asserted his strong sense of belonging within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.
“Being Anglican is just in my bones. It was such a fantastic experience to discover in college that the tradition in which I grew up was the one I wanted to embrace as an adult,” he said.
“[M]ost of all I appreciate what’s called ‘Anglican comprehensiveness,'” he said, “which often calls us to embody ambiguity. Sometimes that causes us discomfort, even conflict, but it’s at the heart of who we are as Anglicans. I love that.”
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