A historic Catholic church in Washington, D.C. warned parishioners on Friday that there have been "credible threats" of protesters planning to disrupt church services this weekend. The warning came after a pro-choice abortion activist group called on Americans to disrupt church services this weekend.
In an email sent to the church body, St. Peter's Church on Capitol Hill said that church leaders have been alerted that "there is a credible threat of our Masses being disrupted this weekend by protesters."
"All are welcome to join us for Mass at St. Peter's. Even though the disruption of the celebration of the Holy Mass is a grave offense to every person of faith, we will strive to continue worship of God and exercise fraternal charity in any case," the email said.
In the event that Mass is disrupted, the church has instructed the congregation to avoid engaging with protesters, to remain inside the building if possible, and to "take a prayerful position and simply pray."
"The police departments are aware of these threats and will have increased patrolling and presence around the church," the email said.
Pro-choice abortion activists have called for protests at American Catholic churches on Mother's Day Weekend after Politico reported Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to overturn the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade. A leaked draft court majority opinion for the case concerning Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban suggests the court will overturn its precedent on abortion rights, returning the issue to state legislatures and the people's elected representatives.
Protesters on both sides of the abortion debate gathered at the Supreme Court building this week, prompting authorities to erect non-scalable fencing outside of the building.
A pro-choice group called Ruth Sent Us on Thursday posted what it claims are the home addresses of the six Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices, calling for an organized "walk-by protest" outside their homes next week. The group has also called for protests inside Catholic churches during Mass on Mother's Day.
"Whether you’re a 'Catholic for Choice', ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe. Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8," Ruth Sent Us tweeted earlier this week.
After this tweet was sent, a pastor at St. Joe's Catholic Church on Capitol Hill reportedly requested that police "be ready to intervene" in case Mass is disrupted, according to the Daily Wire's Mary Margaret Olohan.
"MPD is aware of potential disruptions associated with First Amendment demonstrations, MPD will be monitoring, assessing and planning accordingly with our local and federal partners," a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department said. "We have increased available resources, including the activation of our Civil Disturbance Units, in preparation for these activities."
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.