Sunday, February 18, 2024

It’s called “Google”: know who’s using your church building

One of the most alarming aspects of the sacrilegious abuse of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City at the February 15th funeral is the extreme neglect it has uncovered.

“Know who’s using your church” is the basic duty of every good pastor: it takes minutes to Google and discover that the deceased for whom a funeral is requested is, first if all, an atheist. And transgender. AND an activist for evil.

Then you just say “no”.

I offered a wedding Mass at Saint Pat’s as a newly ordained in the 90’s. I was watched every minute by a young priest, likely a parochial vicar on the cathedral staff at the time, who was present in the upper church for the entire wedding Mass to ensure nothing untoward was done. People were free to visit the church during the wedding and the effort to prevent potential sacrilege is necessary for such a highly visible public space that represents the Catholic faith for so many people.

He was also there to make sure we “moved along” and did not overrun the time allotted for the Mass.

But it need be said that preventing sacrilege in every one of our churches is just Catholic.

Is it so hard? I didn’t resent the oversight and felt it was entirely appropriate for one of the most iconic and most highly visited churches, not just in NYC, but the world.

The woman who deceived the staff of St Pat’s in requesting the use of the church understands the church is iconic and chose it for that reason in order to stage the outrageous and blasphemous transgender show that resulted. Does the staff of St. Pat’s understand that?

And let’s not be naive. Was this possibly an “inside job”, as they say? Heads should roll after this. Will the priest, who while seated in the sanctuary in view of the entire assembly, viewing closely the entire ugly and evil spectacle and doing absolutely nothing to stop it, be invited back?

Rector: Mass Of Reparation Offered At St. Patrick’s Cathedral After ‘Scandalous’ Funeral

The exterior of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City is seen in a nighttime file photo. The cathedral faces controversy for hosting a funeral Feb. 15, 2024, for trans activist and atheist Cecilia Gentili, who died Feb. 6 at age 52. (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

(OSV News) — Two days after St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City was filled with mourners for an irreverent “homecoming” funeral for a prominent activist who identified as transgender, the cathedral’s rector acknowledged that many people “have let us know they share our outrage over the scandalous behavior” that took place at the service.

Father Enrique Salvo said in a Feb. 17 statement that at New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan’s “directive, we have offered an appropriate Mass of Reparation.”

“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,” Father Salvo said.

Hundreds were on hand Feb. 15 to commemorate actress and author Cecilia Gentili, an Argentine native who had battled sexual abuse from age six and trafficking, as well as homelessness, heroin addiction and incarceration. The 52-year-old died Feb. 6 of unnamed causes at the Brooklyn, New York, home Gentili shared with partner Peter Scotto.

Gentili was the founder and principal consultant of Trans Equity Consulting and an advocate for the decriminalization of sex work.

Ceyenne Doroshow — founder and director of GLITS Inc. (Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society), organized the funeral. She told The New York Times that she approached St. Patrick’s since “it is an icon, just like (Gentili).”

Doroshow also told the newspaper that she had not advised pastoral staff that Gentili identified as transgender, saying, “I kind of kept it under wraps.”

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