The world’s first non-binary transgender pastor ordained

Kori Pacyniak received the rite within the Catholic Priestess Movement in San Diego, California. Since her childhood in a Polish Catholic community in Chicago, she had this dream. At age eight, she decided that she wanted to become a priest and that its gender did not identify her as a girl or boy

Kori Pacyniak, in her childhood, unlike many children, did not want to be a doctor, veterinarian, or astronaut. His desire was always to become a priestess. Although the mission itself already presented specific blockages imposed by culture and religion, it managed to become the world’s first non-binary transgender pastor.

From an early age, Kori knew that he wanted to be a priest; however, he was born in a female body that, besides preventing him from becoming a priestess, Pacyniak felt that he did not identify with this.

Kori Pacyniak was ordained within the Catholic Priestess Movement (RCWP)
©mmacc – Kori Pacyniak was ordained within the Catholic Priestess Movement (RCWP)Mmacc – Kori Pacyniak was ordained within the Catholic Priestess Movement (RCWP)

At 8, Kori remembers telling her Polish grandmother that she wanted to become a Sacerdote in her adulthood, to which the grandmother said to her that only children could do it, and that was when little Kori decided that it would also be useful to become Growing up, Pacyniak explained to local media.

Almost 30 years after that fact, Kori Pacyniak not only fulfilled his dream of becoming a priest but is also now the first non-binary transgender person to hold this position.

Kori Pacyniak is a priest of the Mary Magdalene Apostolic Catholic Congregation, in San Diego, California
©Twitter/@KPacyniak – Kori Pacyniak is a priest of the Mary Magdalene Apostolic Catholic Congregation, in San Diego, California

On February 1, 2020, he was ordained in the Catholic Priestess Movement (RCWP, an international Catholic organization, which the Holy See does not recognize, dedicated to ordaining women) as a priest of the Mary Magdalene Apostolic Catholic Congregation, in San Diego, California.

However, Kori’s non-binary condition does not classify it into any gender, which means that she does not identify herself as a man or as a woman and that she has abandoned the pronouns of ‘she’ and ‘he’, to be classified as “elle”.

Kobi will carry out her liturgies at the Mary Magdalene Church in San Diego, and due to her majority of priestesses, the Diocese of San Diego does not consider it among its churches, and the Vatican has excommunicated several of the women ordained there.

The temple has more than 120 faithful who receive liturgies every Sunday, and the cult is similar to those taught in any other Catholic church, only with some modifications in the language used.

That first February, more than 100 people gathered to attend the historical event of the ordination of Pacyniak as a priest, so the ceremony was held in the Gothic sanctuary of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul. “Even among parishioners, however, there was some initial hesitation about the possibility of a non-binary cleric,” said Union-Tribune, that covered the ceremony.


“Contemporary campaigns which intend to add women to the Catholic priesthood began in 1911 and ended with seven women ordained by bishops with goodwill on the Danube River in 2002,” recalled Uptown News, whose envoy Kendra Sitton also covered the San Diego ceremony. There were four Germans, two Austrians and one American who had a Latin American, Romulo Braschi, Argentine archbishop and founder of the Charismatic Apostolic Catholic Church of King Jesus.

“The movement continues to grow, with its grassroots communities in 32 states of the United States and several countries. The denomination has reimagined the priesthood so that it is limited to men born as such, heterosexual and celibate. Instead, the group orders anyone beyond gender, sexual identity, or marital status. They aim to create communities where all people are welcome and equal,” added Sitton.

©mmacc – People attended the ceremony where Kori Pacyniak was ordained as a priest.

Kori Pacyniak, who has also studied in Rome, Poland, and Brazil and has participated in several trips and pilgrimages for social justice between Israelis and Palestinians, pursues his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of California at Riverside, centered on queer and trans studies in religion. Also, he insisted that the press notice, follow baseball, go to Comic-Con, and feel more and more his Catholic faith.

“The Vatican may not recognize this kind of Catholicism, but that does not bother Pacyniak’s parents, who remain, practitioners of the Roman apostolic rite,” Rowe said. “We are very proud of Kori,” said Basia, the mother, who went with the father, Bernhard, the brother, the sister-in-law, two nephews and several cousins of the brand new priest to the grand ceremony. “I feel that it is not in conflict with the Catholicism that we practice,” he concluded

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