COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Respect Life Mass was disrupted by a group of protesters last week.

According to Bishop Robert Brennan, the mass was being held at St. Joseph Cathedral on East Broad Street Friday when a group of protesters entered the church in an attempt to disrupt the service.

Columbus Police responded to the church and removed the protesters, according to church staff.

The Respect Life Mass is held annually on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision.

According to a church spokesperson, the protesters entered the church at about the halfway point of the service and began chanting as they entered the cathedral.

Brennan’s full statement, released Friday, is below.

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.  I am deeply thankful to the Columbus Police, assisted by Diocesan staff, for the quick response without injury to anyone present.  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.  On this day, in remembrance of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, I ask all 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. 

Bishop Robert Brennan