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LGBTQ community, New York Archdiocese clash over transgender activist’s funeral

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In a poignant display of grief and solidarity, friends and relatives of Cecilia Gentili congregated outside City Hall on Wednesday, decrying what they perceive as a grave injustice perpetrated during her funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The outcry ensued after the pastor abruptly curtailed the service, prompting demands for an apology from the cathedral’s administration.

Ceyenne Doroshow, the founder of GLITS and a close confidante of Gentili, vociferously articulated the sentiments of the aggrieved. Gentili, a prominent advocate for transgender rights and sex workers’ welfare, passed away on February 6 at the age of 52. Doroshow lamented the truncation of the funeral, asserting that Gentili’s memory deserved reverence and dignity, irrespective of her gender identity.

Responding to the tumult surrounding the funeral, Reverend Enrique Salvo issued a statement elucidating the cathedral’s stance. Salvo expressed bewilderment at the “sacrilegious” manner in which the proceedings unfolded, contending that the cathedral had only been apprised of the need to conduct a funeral Mass for a Catholic without knowledge of the attendant circumstances.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a prominent figure within the New York Archdiocese, condemned the perceived irreverence and disrespect exhibited during the funeral. Dolan underscored the sanctity of the church’s rituals, lamenting the distress caused by acts deemed scandalous or sacrilegious.

Amidst the escalating discord, the New York Archdiocese sought solace in the tenets of faith by organizing a Mass of Reparation, a service aimed at seeking forgiveness for transgressions against the sacred. However, the gesture failed to assuage the ire of Gentili’s supporters, who continued to demand accountability and contrition from the church hierarchy.

Doroshow remained steadfast in her quest for vindication, emphasizing the pivotal opportunity squandered during Gentili’s funeral. Despite assertions from the family that the church had been duly informed of the deceased’s identity, Cardinal Dolan reiterated the church’s policy of refraining from conducting background checks in such matters.

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