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Supporters of transgender activist Cecilia Gentili want apology from New York Archdiocese for denouncing funeral

Loved ones of Cecilia Gentili call for apology from New York Archdiocese
Loved ones of Cecilia Gentili call for apology from New York Archdiocese 02:34

NEW YORK -- Days after the New York Archdiocese denounced a transgender activist's funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral, her loved ones are calling for an apology. 

CBS New York's Natalie Duddridge spoke to members of both communities.

"We just lost an amazing icon, pioneer in our community. How dare you scream this blasphemy," said Tiffany Jade Munroe, Caribbean Equality Project's trans justice coordinator.

Friends, family and supporters of transgender activist Cecilia Gentili say her memory was disrespected when her service was cut short last week and the church called the funeral "a scandal."

Now, they want the archdiocese to apologize.

"Apologize for the decades of degradation and hate you have put on our community," trans activist Ceyenne Doroshow said.

Gentili died Feb. 6 at age 52. Officials say more than 1,000 mourners packed the church last week for the celebration of life.

Many Catholics expressed outrage and objected to some of the profane language and behavior.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan spoke out Tuesday about the funeral on SiriusXM's "The Catholic Channel."

"Once the funeral started is where the trouble started because of the irreverence and the disrespect of the big crowd that was there. That was very, very sad. And, again, I applaud our priests who made a quick decision that, uh oh, with behavior like this, we can't do a mass," Dolan said.

In a live stream video of the service, a voice is heard saying, "We should move to a funeral service, no mass."

Duddridge spoke to Father Tom Reese, a Jesuit priest who says the church offers funeral services for everyone.

"We have services for prostitutes. We have services for criminals. We have services for saints. We have, most of our services are for sinners, for people like us. So this is not a problem. The fact that the deceased was transgender is not the issue at all," he said. 

He says the issue was some of the etiquette inside the church.

"You adapt to the culture and the customs of the home in which you are entering," he said. "You would do that in any kind of temple or worship space."

The one thing both the church and Gentili's loved ones agree on is they all want to move forward from this.

"We are all precious in His sight," Munroe said.

"People's feelings are hurt on both sides," Reese said.

We reached out to the archdiocese for comment. We have not yet heard back.

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