Protesters Interrupt Easter Mass 

Daily Report April 02,2024

A trio of Protesters interrupted Easter Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, the New York Post reported. The protesters were heard shouting “Free, free Palestine” before they were escorted out.

According to the outlet, police were called to the Midtown cathedral for complaints about a disorderly group just before 9 p.m.

The suspects include Matthew Menzies, 31, John Rozendaal, 63 and Gregory Schwedock, 35, all of whom were taken into custody and charged with disruption of religious service.

However, as the outlet reported, two suspects have prior criminal records. Schwedock was arrested last September after disrupting the U.S. Open women’s semifinal with activists who used glue to prevent security from ejecting them from Arthur Ashe Stadium.

On the other hand, Rozendaal was arrested last April after spray-painting climate criminals and no new oil on a window at a Citibank.

Some of the other protesters were seen with Extinction Rebellion NYC’s Palestinian Solidarity group and carried a flag with an olive tree with the words “Silence = Death” written across it.

While most church members did not react to the disruption, some felt the protesters lacked respect.

“Not inside the church. Outside, they can be as free as they please,” one of the members said. “Gaza is a really bad situation, but this is a place of sanctuary for us. Have a little respect, please.”

In a statement before the start of Holy Week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called for prayer, peace, and an end to the war in the Middle East.

“As the Church enters Holy Week and Christ’s suffering on the cross and his resurrection are made present to us so vividly, we are connected to the very source of hope,” the statement reads. “Thousands of innocent people have died in this conflict, and thousands more have been displaced and face tremendous suffering.”

Since the beginning of the war, the conference has decried the deaths of civilians and made calls for peace and the release of hostages captured by Hamas.

According to a news outlet, the Gaza health ministry reported on Sunday that at least 32,782 Palestinians have been killed and 75,298 injured in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since the start of the conflict on Oct 7.

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