Archdiocese of New York condemns ‘scandalous,’ ‘sacrilegious’ behavior following trans activist funeral


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The archdiocese of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City condemned the “scandalous” and “sacrilegious” funeral of a transgender leader and activist following outrage from the Catholic community.

In a statement, Rev. Enrique Salvo wrote that the funeral of transgender activist Cecilia Gentili was an “outrage.”

“Thanks to so many who have let us know they share our outrage over the scandalous behavior at a funeral here at St. Patrick’s Cathedral earlier this week,” Salvo wrote.

The Manhattan archdiocese said that the Cathedral did not know what the funeral would entail when they agreed to host Gentili’s funeral.

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People with flowers and a banner honoring Cecilia Gentili outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan on Feb. 15, 2024, in New York. (Sheetal Banchariya/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“The Cathedral only knew that family and friends were requesting a funeral Mass for a Catholic, and had no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way,” Father Salvo said.

The funeral, which drew well over 1,000 people, sparked outrage after the funeral was focused on praying for transgender rights and access to gender-affirming health care.

One video eulogy, which called the transgendered activist the “Mother of all W—–,” sparked outrage from the Catholic community.

In the video, the eulogist remembered Gentili as the “great w—-.”

“This w—-.” the eulogist said to resounding applause. “This great w—-. St. Cecilia, Mother of all W—–!”

“Today we say that we will see you soon and that you will give us the strength, the courage to continue your legacy,” he continued.

Cecilia Gentili

Cecilia Gentili (Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images for HBO / File)

CatholicVote, a conservative political activist group, called the funeral “just unbelievable and sick.”

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Their comments came after Billy Porter, a LGBTQ+ activist, opened Gentili’s funeral with a song rendition of the “Our Father” prayer.

The group called it “mocking.”

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City (Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images / File)

Two days after the funeral, Salvo said that the church would begin a “Mass of Reparation.” 

“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,” Salvo said.

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“At the Cardinal’s directive, we have offered an appropriate Mass of Reparation,” he continued.






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