Church ‘duped’ into hosting atheist trans activist’s funeral

Aprilia Rine

Church ‘duped’ into hosting atheist trans activist’s funeral

The pastor of St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York has been left outraged after the attendees of a funeral service for a transgender activist celebrated her as the “mother of all whores.”

The service took place on Thursday, ten days after the Argentinian-born Cecilia Gentili 52, passed away in her Brooklyn home, and was attended by 1400 mourners, according to the organizers.

Gentili was known for being a convinced atheist and was described by the Times as “a fierce advocate for transgender people and sex workers and a powerful legislative lobbyist — as well as an author and a bawdy, searing performer.”

In 2022, she penned a book called ‘Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist’, which according to annotation is “a rich and moving epistolary memoir about transgender childhood, sexual trauma, motherhood, and a young queer life in 1970s Argentina.”

In a statement released on Saturday, The New York Archdiocese said that the church was not made aware of Gentili’s background and condemned 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.”

The church added in a follow-up statement that they didn’t have an issue with Gentili’s identity, but strongly objected to “the behavior of some” that made comments like “the mother of all whores” or changed the words of the ‘Ave Maria’ to ‘Ave Cecilia.’

Gentili’s family members responded by saying that they “brought precious life and radical joy to the Cathedral in historic defiance of the Church’s hypocrisy and anti-trans hatred,” arguing that her funeral service reflected “the love she had for her community and a testament to the impact of her tireless advocacy.” 

“Gentili’s homegoing service will live on, his history as a radical act of love and mourning for the revolutionary saint in our community,” the organizers said in a statement posted on X.

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