Archbishop Bruce Simpson


Bruce Simpson was born and raised in Audubon, New Jersey. At the age 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force during Vietnam and was assigned to nuclear security. Upon receiving an honorable discharge, Bruce entered police work in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Simpson received his undergraduate degree (B.A.) in the legal field from the University of Central Florida in 1981. While in college, Simpson ran for and was elected to a county-wide political office, unseating the incumbent. Simpson also served as deputy campaign manager for Lawson Lamar, Chief Assistant States Attorney in his successful run for Sheriff of Orange County, Florida. Upon graduation, Simpson was sworn in as a Commissioner of the District Court of Maryland, and Acting United States Magistrate, Pro Tem, where he served for two years prior to returning to police work as a sworn Police Officer in Prince Georges County, Maryland. Simpson remained in the Police Department until he left in 1984 to enter Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary one year later. Simpson made the smooth transition after having just been awarded Police Officer of the Year by the American Legion.

Simpson was assigned to St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington during his first summer break from Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and returned to Catholic University of America to continue his study of theology. Simpson left the seminary before ordination as a result of a conflict of conscience with James Cardinal Hickey over gays in the priesthood.

After leaving the seminary in 1986, Simpson served as a bodyguard to the Saudi Arabian Royal Family; served another year as District Court Commissioner in Maryland and finally entered into federal service. During his federal career, Simpson served as a United States Special Agent for the FDA investigating criminal matters in conjunction with various other federal law enforcement agencies. Simpson finished his government career in 1998 as a GS-14 Chief of Collections for the U.S. Treasury Department, where he helped write the Debt Collection Procedures Improvement Act of 1996 and was then tasked with the responsibility of implementing the law throughout the federal government. Simpson created the section that now carries out that function for the Treasury. During the course of this service, Simpson received an award from the Secretary of the Treasury and the Vice-President of the United States, as well as numerous awards from different levels of government, including one for conducting a briefing session with senior Russian government officials.

Simpson was ordained a priest in 1996 after completing theological studies and was awarded an STL by his ordaining church, the Reformed Catholic Church. Simpson was then called to serve as a Catholic bishop and was consecrated on January 30, 1999. Simpson currently is the Archbishop Protector of the Benedictine Order of St. John the Beloved, the oldest Old Catholic Benedictine Order in the United States and the parishes under his protection and supervision. Archbishop Simpson wrote The Gay Face of God  and is a published author and has appeared on radio and television numerous times regarding the church and the LGBT community. Bruce and his partner Jack have been together for 30 years in March of 2005.

(This biographical statement provided by Bruce Simpson.)

Biography Date: February, 2005

Additional Resources


Catholic (Independent Catholic Church of Americas (ICCA)) | Author/editor | Clergy Activist


“Archbishop Bruce Simpson | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed May 22, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/bruce-simpson.


Know Bruce Simpson? Tell us your experience.
(All entries are reviewed by the LGBT-RAN office before posting.)