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How St Patrick’s says it was tricked into hosting trans activist funeral, why it held Mass of Reparation

New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral said it was deceived into hosting a controversial funeral on Thursday for transgender activist Cecilia Gentili. The church performed a rare Mass of Reparation in response.

The funeral for the atheist Gentili, who advocated for trans people and sex workers, drew over 1,000 mourners. Their perceived unruly behavior, including reverently calling Gentili the “Mother of all W—–,” outraged Catholics.

How the cathedral was misled into hosting the funeral has been questioned since. Rev. Enrique Salvo said Gentili’s family requested “a funeral Mass for a Catholic” without revealing the event would be “degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way.”

Salvo said the “scandal” was worse given it occurred at Lent’s start. At the Cardinal’s direction, the church offered a Mass of Reparation on Saturday to re-sanctify the cathedral.

In November, Bishop Robert Brennan held a Mass of Reparation after a controversial Sabrina Carpenter music video filmed at another church.

On Sunday, Gentili’s family released a statement saying the funeral brought “precious life and radical joy” to the cathedral in “historic defiance of the Church’s hypocrisy.” They bestowed sainthood on Gentili for her advocacy and said the only deception was the church claiming to welcome all.

The disputed funeral encapsulates ongoing tensions between the Catholic church and LGBTQ advocates. Supporters praised Gentili’s activism while the church condemned the perceived disrespect. The Mass of Reparation aimed to address the scandal but rifts remain on both sides.