Trans activists accused of ‘hate crime’ over St. Patrick’s Cathedral funeral

A pro-Catholic advocacy group is demanding a probe of those who organized a transgender activist’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, insisting the group committed a “hate crime” to gain access to the church and “desecrate” the religious space. 

Those who put together the funeral for former sex worker Cecilia Gentili broke state law by duping the famed church into holding the service, wrote Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, in a letter to New York Attorney General Letitia James.

“The outrageous sacrilege perpetrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral is indeed a hate crime,” Burch wrote Feb. 20. “Video footage shows that transgender activists intentionally used deception to obtain permission to enter St. Patrick’s and the facts show that access was used to desecrate that sacred space and mock Catholic faith and morals.”

CatholicVote’s president said mourners at Gentili’s funeral mocked the Catholic faith and morals. Getty Images

More than 1,000 people turned out to remember Gentili, a self-proclaimed atheist, who was reportedly eulogized during the Feb. 15 event as “St. Cecelia, mother of all whores.”

One mourner reportedly sang “Ave Maria,” but changed the lyrics to “Ave Cecilia,” and danced in the aisles while twirling red scarves.

St. Patrick’s officials have claimed they had no knowledge of the late activist’s background beforehand. The service was cut short, and the historic Midtown church later conducted a rare “Mass of Reparation” to atone for the funeral. 

The church “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 Rev. Enrique Salvo said in the wake of the explosive ceremony. 

“It’s pretty clear here they chose St. Patrick’s not because it’s big and beautiful and on Fifth Avenue — they singled it out explicitly because of the Church’s position on human sexuality,” Burch told The Post. 

More than 1,000 people turned out to remember Gentili, who was reportedly eulogized as “St. Cecelia, mother of all whores.” Getty Images

Under New York’s penal code, it is a hate crime to target an individual for criminal trespassing on the basis of their religion or religious practice. In his letter, Burch noted New York’s courts have previously found those who gain access to a property through deception can be found liable for the crime.  

The controversy behind the funeral service wasn’t that Gentili was transgender, but that mourners had committed “real spiritual harm” with their behavior during the ceremony, Burch stressed.

“If they would have had the funeral service and not put on the blasphemous circus, then no one would have said anything,” he said. 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral conducted a rare “Mass of Reparation” to atone for the behavior at Gentili’s funeral. Getty Images

Genitli’s family has denied anyone hoodwinked the church. 

The advocacy group Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society, or GLITS, also insisted the funeral’s organizers weren’t deceitful. 

“Funeral organizers advised cathedral staff to look up Cecilia Gentili, her work, and the community she served,” the group told Catholic News Agency

The attorney general’s office and GLITS did not respond to requests for comment.

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