Abortion rights activists stormed St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio, Friday morning during a pro-life Mass, parading through the aisles with signs that read, “Abortion on demand,” and chanting, “This church teaches hate.”
Bishop Robert J. Brennan of the Columbus Diocese was celebrating the “Respect Life” Mass, part of a pro-life program created by the U.S. bishops, on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that invented a right to abortion, though none ever existed in the Constitution.
According to a report at the Columbus Dispatch, about eight abortion rights activists stormed into the cathedral and marched up into the sanctuary shouting, “Two, four, six, eight, this church teaches hate!”
The protesters held signs that read, “Fund abortion, not cops,” and “Abortion on demand, end Hyde now,” a reference to the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding federal provision that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion.
Police were called to the scene and diocesan staff assisted them in escorting the protesters out of the cathedral.
Pro-life media outlet LifeSiteNews reported further about the incident:
Some of the approximately 200 Mass-goers were visibly shaken and disturbed by the actions of the protesters. A number of children were in attendance and some were seen crying. Hundreds of Catholic school students throughout the diocese were watching a livestream of the Mass when the protesters interrupted Bishop Brennan’s homily.
On their way out, the pro-abortion group can be heard verbally abusing the security team by screaming obscenities. After they were successfully escorted out, the group remained outside the cathedral, shouting insults back to the congregation inside, including “Jesus hates you,” and “If hell is real, you can burn in it.”
“Today during our Respect Life Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, a group of protesters entered this sacred space in an attempt to disrupt our worship,” Brennan said later in a statement, adding his thanks to the Columbus police and staff of the diocese for responding promptly and avoiding injury.
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. I also apologize to the families present whose children were exposed to this.
Brennan asked all who attended the Mass “to continue to pray for the unborn who died, for all those who have experienced the pain of abortion, and for those who cannot understand our divine and steadfast calling to champion this cause.”
According to LifeSiteNews, following the Mass, the abortion rights activists continued to harass the attendees who walked two blocks to the Ohio Statehouse for a “Roe Remembrance” gathering with Bishops Brennan and Cleveland Bishop Edward Malesic.
The pro-abortion protesters continued to try to disrupt the speakers by shouting using a bullhorn and siren.
The Lord sets before us many choices. He asks us to take sides. May we side with life. May we side with beauty and peace and love and non-violence, including non-verbal violence. May we listen to each other and accompany each other, so that in the end, we will find ourselves where the Lord came to bring us, and that’s to a kingdom of peace and justice.
On the same day as the abortion activists’ storming of the cathedral, Democrat President Joe Biden, referred to as a “devout Catholic,” and Vice President Kamala Harris issued a joint statement in which they said they are “committed to codifying” Roe v. Wade into law and to “appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.”
Using the language of the abortion industry, specifically that abortion is the equivalent of “health care,” the Democrat leaders added, “We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care – including reproductive health care – regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status.