Costumed Protesters Disrupt Mother’s Day Mass in Los Angeles

Mass was disrupted at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Sunday morning, a parishioner told CNA.

Costumed protesters struggle with personnel of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during Mass on May 8.
Costumed protesters struggle with personnel of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during Mass on May 8. (photo: Screenshot from video provided by Bradford Adkins / via CNA)

Several protesters dressed in “huge hats” and “red, hooded gowns” disrupted a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles Sunday morning, a parishioner told CNA.

The description of the protesters‘ attire provided by the parishioner, Bradford Adkins, resembles costumes worn by members of the pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us, which threatened to disrupt Catholic Masses on Sunday, Mother’s Day.

As of 10pm Eastern on Sunday, the group did not appear to have taken responsibility for the protest in Los Angeles. Representatives of the group were not immediately available for comment Sunday night.

Ruth Sent Us has taken responsibility for disrupting Catholic churches before, such as at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco in February. During Mass at St. Mary's, video footage shows protesters walking down the aisle toward the altar wearing red robes and white bonnets or “handmaids” costumes frequently worn by abortion activists. The costumes symbolize enslaved women who are raped and forced to give birth, inspired by Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

The group's threat to disrupt Mother's Day Masses came in response to a leaked draft opinion in a Mississippi abortion case that suggests a conservative majority on the Supreme Court may be ready to overturn the landmark 1973 abortion decision Roe v. Wade. The group tweeted a new threat Saturday, this time saying it intended to burn the Eucharist.

While there were a handful of reported incidents of anger, violence and provocation directed at Catholics and pro-life groups over the Mother's Day weekend, the demonstration in Los Angeles appeared to be the only one similar to the protests Ruth Sent Us has conducted in the past.


Adkins told CNA that when he heard five of six women protesters yelling in front of the church near the altar, he feared that a riot may be ensuing. 

“I was getting ready for a stampede, and I glanced near the exits,” he said. He said the women held a large green banner, though he could not see what it said.

Cathedral staff and parishioners immediately approached the women and intervened, Adkins said. The cathedral staff was able to stop the women and “whisked them away,” he added.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese was not immediately available for comment Sunday night. The cathedral is the mother church of the archdiocese.

Pro-lifers give prayerful witness outside of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral as pro-abortion activists gathered May 7 in New York City.

Updates on Mother’s Day Threats: New Incidents Reported

On Sunday, Mass in Los Angeles was disrupted, and over the weekend pro-life organizations were targeted. On Saturday, pro-abortion activists blocked the entrance of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan in New York City. A pro-life contingent made their presence known amid the protest.

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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