St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio, was hosting a Respect Life Mass on Friday when a group of eight abortion activists barged in to the sanctuary, shouting and holding pro-abortion posters. They eventually had to be forcibly removed from the church by police, who were called by parishioners.
The Mass was being livestreamed on YouTube, and protesters could be heard shouting pro-abortion slogans, such as, “Two, four, six, eight, this church teaches hate!” Their posters called for taxpayer-funded abortion. At least two people were wearing rainbow-striped abortion facility escort vests. Bishop Edward Malesic from the Diocese of Cleveland was there as a concelebrant for the Mass, which took place on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
#WATCH: Video posted of protesters entering St Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral in Columbus, OH.
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) January 23, 2021
“I am deeply thankful to the Columbus Police, assisted by Diocesan staff, for the quick response without injury to anyone present,” Bishop Robert Brennan said in a statement to 10TV. “I want to express my great admiration and thanks to all those attending the Mass whose respectful and prayerful response reflects the joy, hope, and mercy that marks our pro-life witness.”
Before the Mass began, Jerry Freewalt, director of the diocesan office for Social Concerns, discussed why pro-life events like these are so important. “We are called to respect life and love our neighbor. … They’re all made in the image of God,” Freewalt said. “It’s important because, especially in this day and age where there’s a lot of turmoil in our society and in some circles disrespect for each other, this type of Mass we hope will empower Catholics and all people of goodwill to take up that mantle of seeing Christ in each other.”
The invasion into the sacred space was rattling for the people present, many of whom were families with children, according to Bishop Brennan. Once police forced the protesters outside, they made rude and obscene gestures towards the officers and parish staff.
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