NYC's St Patrick's Cathedral DID know trans activist's funeral would celebrate ... trends now

NYC's St Patrick's Cathedral DID know trans activist's funeral would celebrate ... trends now
NYC's St Patrick's Cathedral DID know trans activist's funeral would celebrate ... trends now

NYC's St Patrick's Cathedral DID know trans activist's funeral would celebrate ... trends now

The family of a transgender activist is hitting back at claims that they duped New York's iconic St Patrick's Cathedral into hosting a controversial funeral for the former sex worker.

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan had slammed the 'irreverence and the disrespect' of mourners at the February 15 funeral, where activist Cecilia Gentili was eulogized as the 'mother of all whores'

'We didn't know the background. We don't do FBI checks on people who want to be buried,' Dolan insisted in a radio interview this week. 

'All they know is somebody called and said, 'Our dear friend died. We'd love to have the funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral. It would be a great source of consolation. She's a Catholic,'' he added.

But in a statement, Gentili's family furiously denied that the church had been deceived and said 'the only deception present at St. Patrick's Cathedral is that it claims to be a welcoming place for all.' 

Cecilia Gentili was known as a leading advocate for other transgender people, as well as sex workers and people with HIV, but her funeral at St Patrick's Cathedral drew controversy

Cecilia Gentili was known as a leading advocate for other transgender people, as well as sex workers and people with HIV, but her funeral at St Patrick's Cathedral drew controversy

Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan (right) slammed the 'irreverence and the disrespect' of mourners at the February 15 funeral

Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan (right) slammed the 'irreverence and the disrespect' of mourners at the February 15 funeral

The family said that the funeral service had 'brought precious life and radical joy to the Cathedral in historic defiance of the Church's hypocrisy and anti-trans hatred.'

Similarly, the group Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society said in a statement: 'The current narrative from St. Patrick's Cathedral leadership that they were manipulated by funeral organizers of the identity of Ms. Gentili is simply not true.' 

'Funeral organizers advised cathedral staff to look up Cecilia Gentili, her work, and the community she served. To now place responsibility on the funeral organizers to have affirmatively disclosed the gender identity of their loved one is imposing a burden upon the mourners that would not be expected of a non-transgender person,' they added. 

Videos of Gentili's funeral show an audience of more than 1,000  applauding, singing and offering praise of her stature as a leading light of the city's LGBTQ+ community.

During one eulogy that was widely circulated on social media, Gentili was celebrated as 'Saint Cecilia, the mother of all whores,' and at one point the lyrics of 'Ave Maria' were changed to 'Ave Cecilia'.

Dolan said that the funeral service was cut short, with no Mass as originally planned, after cathedral workers observed the tenor of the proceedings.

The US conference of Catholic bishops rejects the concept of gender transition, though Pope Francis recently cleared the path for transgender adults to be baptized under certain conditions. 

In a written statement released Saturday, the Rev. Enrique Salvo, pastor of Saint Patrick's, thanked those who 'share our outrage over the scandalous behavior' at the funeral.

'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 Enrique Salvo said in a statement.

Cecilia Gentili was a former sex worker and self-declared atheist who spent years as an undocumented migrant before becoming a prominent campaigner for LGBT rights

Cecilia Gentili was a former sex worker and self-declared atheist who spent years as an undocumented migrant before becoming a prominent campaigner for LGBT rights

Around 1,000 friends and admirers packed St Patrick's Cathedral for the raucous funeral service on February 15

Around 1,000 friends and admirers packed St Patrick's Cathedral for the raucous funeral service on February 15

Fishnets, mini skirts and even a boa made of $100 bills adorned mourners at the service

Fishnets, mini skirts and even a boa made of $100 bills

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