Written by 4:43 pm In the News

Fury over transgender funeral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral held a rare Mass of Reparation after the Archdiocese of New York claimed mourners at a funeral service for trans  activist Cecilia Gentili last week engaged in “scandalous behaviour.”

The Mass of Reparation was held at the direction of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, Rev. Enrique Salvo, pastor of Saint Patrick’s, said.

Cathedral staff “had no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way,” Rev Salvo said.

“That such a scandal occurred at ‘America’s Parish Church’ makes it worse; that it took place as Lent was beginning, the annual forty–day struggle with the forces of sin and darkness, is a potent reminder of how much we need the prayer, reparation, repentance, grace, and mercy to which this holy season invites us,” he said.

The New York Archdiocese strongly criticised the funeral service held for Gentili at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, denouncing the event as “scandalous”.

Among the mourners was “Pose” star Billy Porter, who, according to the group Catholic Vote on X opened the service “with a song mocking the Our Father prayer.”

Attendees wore racy outfits and cursed openly at the podium while paying tribute to Gentili, 52, a renowned trans activist and award-winning author, former sex worker, and actress.

A friend of Ms. Gentili’s took the lectern to pray for access to gender-affirming health care. A mourner upstaged a priest singing “Ave Maria,” changing the lyrics to “Ave Cecilia.” She then danced through the aisles, red scarves twirling around her.

Mourners also jokingly identified Gentili as a “saint” and changed the lyrics to some Catholic songs to honour the LGBTQ advocate.

The archdiocese released a statement expressing shock over the turn of events, asserting that they were unaware of Gentili’s background or beliefs when agreeing to host the service:

“[We had] no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way.”

Rev. Salvo said the church had not known of Gentili’s background or beliefs when it booked the service.

The church said it did not take issue with Gentili’s identity but condemned the actions of certain attendees’ behaviour, particularly those who loudly cheered when Gentili was hailed as “Santa Cecilia, la madre de todas las putas” (Saint Cecilia, the mother of all whores).

The service, attended by approximately 1,400 mourners, occurred ten days after Gentili’s passing at her Brooklyn residence.

Gentili, a prominent advocate for sex workers and author of the book “Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist’’ was remembered for her activism and theatrical contributions. The cause of her death remains undisclosed.

Gentili’s family had concealed her background from the church and chose St. Patrick’s Cathedral due to its symbolic significance.

(Picture Courtesy: Getty Images)

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