An American in Italy sends this report of a demonstration during mass in front of the Duomo in Florence:
A friend and I (both American) were hearing mass in the famous Duomo in Florence, Italy on Saturday (Jan. 10th) and were rudely interrupted by banging and chanting from outside.
The priest was momentarily caught off guard but went on. It continued throughout the service.
When mass was over, we went to leave and I asked the guards guarding the church what was going on. They replied “Palestini.” They told us to be careful, and when we went outside to walk home we couldn’t leave the square until the procession had gone by. They were banging their flagpoles against the cobblestones, which would account for the noise that we heard in the church.
Our apartment is really close to the Duomo and we walked home but again were stopped by protesters, with signs showing Palestinian children, shouting against the crimes of Israel.
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I rolled my eyes and told them that this was b******t and that they’d better get out of my way. So they let me and my friend pass and we finally got home.
Not surprisingly, the only people who thought this whole scene was ridiculous were the people leaving the mass at the Duomo, which happened to be in English. It was mostly Americans coming out, and we were shocked that this was allowed to go on during a mass at the Duomo.
So you can add beautiful Florence to the list of demonstrations, unfortunately.