FBI Whistleblowers Call for FACE Act Charges Against Pro-Palestinian Agitators Who Disrupted Easter Vigil Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Three pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested Saturday night after disrupting the Easter Vigil Mass at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Catholic Church recognizes its Easter Vigil service as the “mother of all vigils,” and the “greatest and most noble of all solemnities.”

About 45 minutes into the 8:00 p.m. service, which was led by Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, three men in black suits moved to the front of the church where they unfurled a white banner that read “Silence = Death,” as other activists loudly belted out Dona nobis pacem (Peace Be With You) from the pews.

The agitators shouted “free Palestine!” as they were apprehended and hauled out of the cathedral.  Police told the New York Post that the protesters were handcuffed and removed from the church.

The disruption followed a large pro-Palestinian protest in nearby Times Square, the Post reported.

Matthew Menzies, 31, John Rozendaal, 63, and Gregory Schwedock, 35, were charged with disruption of religious service, a class A misdemeanor.

FBI whistleblowers Kyle Seraphin, Steve Friend and Garrett O’Boyle argued on X that federal FACE Act charges should also apply.

“FACE act violation: ‘WHOEVER—by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship,'” Seraphin wrote on Easter Sunday, quoting from the statute. 

Seraphin was suspended by the FBI on June 1, 2022 after nearly six years with the Bureau after he made a “protected disclosure” regarding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s email ordering the FBI to use Patriot Act counterterrorism tools to target parents at school board meetings.

O’Boyle, a former police officer and decorated Army veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, lost his security clearance in September 2022 over false allegations that he leaked information about a criminal investigation to Project Veritas that FBI officials said “compromised the case.”

“I’m sure some know-nothing will pop in here and claim this is a lawful protest and Kyle doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” O’Boyle commented. “Kyle laid out the elements of the statute as needed. Hello @fbi and The Ministry of Justice (@TheJusticeDept), do your job.”


“In the last 30 years, @TheJusticeDept charged FACE Act violations 130 times,” noted Friend on X. “Only 4 were for violating this portion. The DOJ is politicized and weaponized.”

Friend was suspended in September 2022—“stripped of his gun and badge, and escorted out of the FBI field office in Daytona Beach, Fla.”—after conscientiously objecting to taking part in the Bureau’s harassment of conservative Americans.

In January, six pro-life activists who engaged in a peaceful protest outside an abortion clinic in Tennessee three years ago, were convicted on federal FACE Act charges and now face up to 11 years in prison.

“Protesters disrupted an Easter Vigil service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC which is a violation of the federal FACE Act,” wrote Rev. Patrick Mahoney on X. “Pro-life activists are now facing 11 years in prison for violating the FACE Act for their peaceful witness at abortion clinics. Here is the question. Will the Biden Administration and Department of Justice charge the St. Patrick’s protesters with FACE and pursue prison time?”

The activists who disrupted Easter Vigil Mass at  St. Patrick’s Cathedral are affiliated with the radical environmental group “Extinction Rebellion,” and veterans of multiple “disruptive protests,” according to the Post.

Schwedock, of the Upper East Side, was arrested in September after disrupting the US Open women’s semifinal with activists who used glue to prevent security from ejecting them from Arthur Ashe Stadium after they held up a sign decrying fossil fuels. Their stunt stalled the match for nearly 50 minutes.

Schwedock’s Facebook feed features numerous photos and videos of direct actions, “many involving vandalism and blocking public roadways,” the Post noted. His avatar is a photo of himself getting arrested.

One video includes footage from a 2019 “die-in” on Wall Street in which Extinction Rebellion members drenched the famous charging bull statue in fake blood and climbed on top of it.

At the start of the video documenting the protest, a member of the group named Alexia boasted two days ahead of time that she was going to be arrested.

On his Instagram, the climate activist posted videos of himself living it up at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, better known as COP27.

According to FlightFree, the 5,600-mile flight from JFK Airport to Cairo, Egypt, emits 3.3 metric tons of CO2, which it says is capable of melting 105 square feet of Arctic sea ice.

Schrwedock did not respond to an Instagram message seeking comment Sunday.

Menzies could not be reached for comment.

Rozendaal, the oldest of the trio and a self-described “viola de gamba player, Baroque cellist, and teacher,” last month on Facebook reposted a glowing essay about Aaron Bushnell, the 25-year-old Air Force airman who died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy to protest the war in Gaza.

In comments under the posted video — titled “A Profound Act Of Sincerity” — Rozendaal praised Bushnell for having “the smarts to put his sacrifice in the view of the world to teach us, to inspire us, and to rightly shame us.”

In reference to Bushnell’s shocking self-immolation, Rozendaal wrote, “I see it as an occasion for solemn celebration.”

Extinction Rebellion NYC shared video of the demonstration on X, writing that the activists were demanding that “all faith leaders take immediate and vocal action against genocide and ecocide” in Gaza.

The group is calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war and for a “free and peaceful Palestine,” according to a statement released by organizers.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) was created in the United Kingdom in mid-2019 as a network that includes members of far-left Earth First! and the “Occupy” movements, according to Influence Watch.

XR’s behavior is aimed at forcing adherence to what XR describes as its “demands.” The first demand is that governments must declare a “climate emergency” and promote that message. The second demand is net-zero carbon emissions by 2025. The final demand is for the creation of a “citizen’s assembly” for “climate and ecological justice”; a group of citizens selected in a fashion similar to what is used for a jury who would craft the plan to implement the second demand and pass it along to government representatives for approval.

Socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), climate activist James Hansen, radical-left academic Noam Chomsky, and left-wing author Naomi Klein have all either promoted the XR cause or expressed outright support for the organization and its tactics.

Michael O’Fallon, the Founder of Sovereign Nations, pointed out on X the occultic origins of the group.

“Their logo (on the protest banner) was developed from runes, and alchemist symbols and is called a dagaz,” O’Fallon explained.

The dagaz rune was tipped on its side to appear to be an hour glass. If the rune was in it’s normative position, it represents day or dawn from “the creator”.

When the rune is turned on it’s side (as it is in the Extinction Rebellion logo), it represents authority, chaos, darkness.

“Why would these insane Occultic rebels be making so much noise in late 2019 and now here in March of 2024?” O’Fallon wrote.

Because, depending on your allegiance to a specific derivative of the Gnostic/Hermetic magic cult, the “Aeon of Horus,” the “dawning of a new age,” or the age of “Christ consciousness” is predicted to take place on April 8th, the day of the solar eclipse.

These are cultic rituals. The people trying to usher in a “great reset” or a “new world order” or a “new age” are members of the occult.

This is all operational preparation of the environment.

All this being said, Extinction Rebellion is very much on the side of Hamas – but this is not Hamas: this is a bunch of New Age Cult members disrupting the Easter service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

In a subsequent post, O’Fallon shared further what he thinks XR was up to Saturday night.

“When an organization like Extinction Rebellion loses momentum or “steam”, they will jump along side another cause of the month (the current thing) to stay relevant,” he wrote. “This allows Extinction Rebellion to continue to share their ‘let’s slow GDP, employ de-growth strategies, end oil, end capitalism etc etc etc.’ Once they align with another passionate movement, they can create allegiances with the followers of the other movement and spread their own message.”

Dolan and most attendees at the Easter Vigil Mass seemed to take the interruption in stride, though some people outside the church later criticized the agitators.

“Not inside the church. Outside they can be as free as they please. Gaza is a really bad situation, but this is a place of sanctuary for us. Have a little respect, please,” one churchgoer outside St. Patrick’s told the Post.

“We all have to respect each other’s religions. What’s going on in Gaza is appalling, but there are other ways to show your point of view,” another person said.

In a statement on March 23, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called for prayer, peace, and the end of the war in the Middle East.

“As the Church enters Holy Week and Christ’s suffering on the cross and his resurrection are made present to us so vividly, we are connected to the very source of hope,” the statement read.

The USCCB has repeatedly called for peace, prayer, fasting, and the release of hostages held by Hamas since the start of the conflict. The group of Catholic bishops has also decried the deaths of civilians in Israel and Gaza.

“Thousands of innocent people have died in this conflict, and thousands more have been displaced and face tremendous suffering,” the statement added. “This must stop.”


According to independent news outlet Viral News NY, Assistant District Attorney Dan Mirabelli has refused to prosecute the agitators.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.