A transgender woman was beaten to death in the streets of Rome: an act of anti-trans violence that is all too common in 0ur world. Andrea Quintero was homeless and battled addictions before she was found dead alongside railroad tracks in the city’s main train station. John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter reports on what came next:
“If anyone wants an example of what the emphasis on mercy under Pope Francis looks like in action, they’ll find one this afternoon in Rome at the Church of the Gesù, the mother church of the pope’s Jesuit order, where a funeral will be celebrated for a Colombian transgendered and homeless person beaten to death five months ago…
“The delay in organizing a funeral, according to news reports, was due to the fact that Quintero’s family never made a request for his remains or provided any instructions about how they wanted him memorialized.
“Eventually the Jesuit-run Centro Astalli, dedicated to aiding refugees, in combination with the local branch of Caritas and civic officials, stepped in to organize a funeral service.”
[Editor’s note: Bondings 2.0 uses the gender pronoun that we believe a transgender person prefers. If a person is living as a woman, we use “she.” If a person is living as a man, we use “he.” If someone we quote does not follow this guideline, we report the quotation as it was written, though we may disagree with the pronoun usage, as in the case of Mr. Allen using “he” to refer to Andrea Quintero in the passage above.]
Beyond commemorating Quintero’s death, the head of Centro Astalli spoke to the wider significance of the church providing a funeral to someone on the margins, saying:
” ‘[It’s] a signal for the entire Roman community that’s distracted in the face so many people who face discrimination, and who live their difficulties to the indifference of our city.’ “
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry