CHICAGO – Six Iraq war protesters disrupted an Easter Mass on Sunday, shouting and squirting fake blood on themselves and parishioners in a packed auditorium.
Three men and three women startled the crowd during Cardinal Francis George's homily, yelling "Even the Pope calls for peace" as they were removed from the Mass by security guards and ushers.
One Mass attendee, Mike Wainscott of Chicago, yelled at the anti-war protesters.
"Are you happy with yourselves?" he said. "There were kids in there. You scared little kids with your selfish act. Are you happy now?"
The group, which calls itself Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, said in a statement after the arrests that they targeted the Holy Name Cathedral on Easter to reach a large audience, including Chicago's most prominent Catholic citizens and the press, which usually covers the services.
Kevin Clark of International Solidarity Movement told the Chicago Tribune that he attended the Mass to serve as a witness for the protesters.
"If Cardinal George is a man of peace and is walking the walk and talking the talk, he should have confronted George Bush and demanded an immediate end to the war," Clark said.
Speaking after the service, George said, "We should all work for peace, but not by interrupting the worship of God."
Police charged each of the six protesters with one count of felony criminal damage to property and two counts each of misdemeanor simple battery.
The six were scheduled to appear in bond court on Monday to face the felony charge, police said. They have court date set for March 31 on the misdemeanors.