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Disruption during a trans activist’s funeral is condemned by the NY Archdiocese

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Following what it refers to as “scandalous behavior” at transgender community leader Cecilia Gentili’s burial on Thursday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Archdiocese has released a harsh statement.

Rev. Enrique Salvo, in a statement made public today, expressed the Cathedral’s dismay at hearing that Gentili was supposedly an espoused atheist and that her gender identification had not been revealed before the ceremony. Salvo stressed that the Cathedral was taken aback by what happened because they had assumed the burial was for a Catholic person.

“We had no idea our welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way,” Salvo wrote in a letter.

There were reports of disruptive behaviors throughout the hundreds-person ceremony, including singing over holy songs and dancing in the aisles. Clergy and other mourners were incensed at some participants’ disparaging remarks and changes to religious song lyrics.

The NY Archdiocese’s spokesperson, Joseph Zwilling, made it clear that the criticism was directed at certain guests’ actions, citing examples like making disparaging remarks and changing holy anthems.

In addition to her advocacy efforts on behalf of underrepresented groups, Gentili was renowned for her bold activism and compelling storytelling. In response to the Archdiocese’s statement, Gentili’s family said that the funeral was a celebration of her life and her steadfast dedication to social justice causes.

Gentili’s family gave her the title of saint in a statement, honoring her commitment to fighting for social justice and elevating the underprivileged. Rejecting the idea of deceit and presenting the funeral as a radical gesture of love and sadness, they framed the service as a testimony to Gentili’s impact and legacy.

The debate surrounding Gentili’s burial highlights the continuous fight for acceptance and inclusion and highlights deeper issues between the LGBTQ+ community and religious institutions.

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