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The funeral of Cecilia Gentili at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, February 15 (OSV News/YouTube)

A Mass of Reparation was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Saturday, after the New York Archdiocese claimed mourners at a funeral service for transgender activist Cecilia Gentili last week engaged in “scandalous behaviour”. Source: New York Daily News.

St Patrick’s pastor, Fr Enrique Salvo, said that at Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s request, the Mass was offered to pray for forgiveness for what some Catholics considered a desecration of the historic house of worship.

“Thanks to so many who have let us know they share our outrage over the scandalous behaviour at a funeral here at St Patrick’s Cathedral earlier this week. 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,” Fr Salvo said on Saturday in a statement.

“That such a scandal occurred at ‘America’s Parish Church’ makes it worse.”

Cardinal Dolan has not spoken about the funeral.

Priests holding the service on Thursday were reportedly not told that Gentili was transgender.

Joe Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the Church didn’t take issue with the deceased’s sexual identity, but the actions of the mourners.

Outraged Catholics complained on social media that 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.

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

Ceyeye Doroshow, who organised the memorial, admitted to The New York Times that she did not mention Gentili was trans to St Patrick’s officials and kept her identity “under wraps”. 

Gentili’s family on Saturday pushed back at St Patrick’s, saying the funeral brought “precious life and radical joy to the cathedral in historic defiance of the Church’s hypocrisy and anti-trans hatred.”


St Patrick’s holds rare Mass of Reparation after ‘scandalous behavior’ at service for NYC trans icon Cecilia Gentili (By Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News)


Mass of reparation offered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral after ‘scandalous’ funeral, rector says (OSV News)