Eight Femen activists undressed and flashed their breasts inside the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The notorious female group marked Pope Benedict XVI's resignation in typically scandalous fashion.
The Ukrainian feminists entered the Gothic cathedral on Tuesday dressed in long coats, before disrobing near the altar. The bodies of the activists were painted withslogans such as "Crisis of faith," and “Pope no more!”
Their protest lasted for just a few minutes.
“Bye-bye Benedict!” and “No more homophobe!” cried the activists while beating bells with sticks, to “congratulate the world” on Benedict XVI’s stepping down.
The cathedral’s security eventually took all the Femen members outside by force, but the activists remained outside shouting "In gay we trust!"
“FEMEN is congratulating the whole progressive world with the resignation of fascist Benedict XVI from the place of the head of the Catholic mafia. It’s symbolic that today is the day of voting on law of same-sex marriage in France. The ex-Pope was a fierce opponent of gay marriages. FEMEN applaud the complete capitulation of the middle age homophobia! Pope go to the devil! Viva common sense! Viva freedom!” reads an entry on the movement’s Facebook page.
Parishioners of the cathedral were reportedly unhappy with the their antics. "This is a sacred place, you can't strip here," a Frenchwoman told AFP.
The action followed Monday’s sudden announcement of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, attributed to his "advancing years". It's the first time a pontiff hasquit in nearly 600 years.This wasn’t FEMEN’s first protest againstBenedict XVI. The group had previously demonstrated topless at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican for gay rights, as the Pope was giving his weekly prayer in November 2011.
The FEMEN activists gained notoriety by conducting impromptu topless protests during major international public events in different countries against sex tourism, religious institutions, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international issues. The Ukrainian feminists also attacked what they called "homophobic propaganda" in the Vatican, and the economic forum in Davos.