Protesters Empty Tear Gas Canisters In Cathedral Mass

Story ByAlex CopeSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

Video Credit: CEN/@Carolonline

This is the moment a group of protesters empty a bag of used tear gas canisters in the middle of a Catholic mass in a Chilean cathedral.

The incident took place in the Cathedral of the Chilean capital Santiago in the middle of a service on Saturday which saw Celestino Aos named Archbishop of the city.

Picture Credit: CEN/@Carolonline

The demonstrators have not commented on why they carried out the protest but some reports state they wanted to denounce the highest Catholic power in the country for their silence and complicity with the government during the widespread unrest in the country.

In the video, a queue people can be seen walking up to the altar to take communion from the priests. One man with a bag takes the bread from a priest and walks away before turning back and emptying his bag of empty tear gas grenades on the floor in front of the altar.

An accomplice does the same before they are seemingly taken away by staff at the cathedral.

Sources from the local police told reporters seven people who belong to a human rights group unveiled a banner reading “when will the people be consulted?”

Picture Credit: CEN/@Carolonline

The service reportedly continued without further incident.

Local media report newly named Archbishop Aos left the scene without injury and did not speak to the press.

Apolistic nuncio Alberto Ortega said it was “an expression of people who wanted to demonstrate, it was not the right moment or the right time. There was a small incident that was later resolved”.

No arrests have been reported.

Protests against inequality in Chile have been ongoing for several weeks and local police arrested 81 people during a demonstration on 10th January in Plaza Italia in the centre of Santiago which saw 3,000 people gather in the square.

Reports state 64 police officers were injured, with one suffering a broken nose from a stone thrown at them.

The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.

Alex Cope

I am a senior writer and editor of the Golders news agency specialising in sports news from around the world.