Protesters in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ outfits disrupt Mass at downtown L.A. cathedral

The interior of a cathedral with two priests in red robes walking toward the cross
An April 10, 2020, photo shows the interior of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Protesters dressed in red robes and white bonnets interrupted Mass at the cathedral Sunday morning, according to the archdiocese.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Protesters dressed in outfits that seemed to be inspired by “The Handmaid’s Tale” interrupted Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday morning, according to church officials.

The group entered the cathedral during the 10 a.m. Mass, said Yannina Diaz, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“Demonstrations had been anticipated across the country,” Diaz said. “The incident was handled accordingly by cathedral security ensuring limited disruption of Mass. We continue to join our prayers as an Archdiocese in solidarity with the US Catholic Bishops to pray for change in our laws to help all women in need in our communities.”


Videos posted to social media seemed to indicate the demonstrators were protesting against the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

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Members of the group were dressed in red robes and white bonnets similar to those worn by “handmaids” in the Hulu drama series, which depicts a United States in which, among other plot points, women’s reproductive rights are abolished and the handmaids are forced to bear children.

“You are not attacking anybody,” a man can be heard saying in one video of the incident, which was posted to Twitter.

“You’re attacking me, right now,” a woman replies.

The video shows the cathedral full of parishioners. A priest can be heard speaking in the background.

A man tells the woman to get out.

“Respect us,” a man says. “You guys want respect? We want respect too.”

The woman’s response is not clear in the video.

“I understand,” the man says. “We are with you but please, let us worship.”

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As they speak, security appears to be moving the group toward the back of the cathedral.

The group starts walking toward an exit, and several of them can be seen walking up stairs and out of the nave, but a security guard then runs toward the front, where several people have surrounded one of the protesters.

The protester yells, “I have a right,” as she is escorted toward the staircase and out of the nave.


A second, shorter video shows a group of people leading at least one protester out of the cathedral.

Further information was not available Monday.