Women activists shed their shirts and pounded a huge church bell in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to celebrate the pope’s resignation.
The nine women from Ukrainian feminist group Femen had their chests and backs emblazoned with the words “Pope No More.” They said they were provocateurs celebrating Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down later this month.
The activists shouted "Bye-bye Benedict" and "No more homophobe."
At one point some of the women rang an enormous bell on display in the hall of the landmark cathedral, part of a set of new bronze bells cast for Notre Dame’s 850th anniversary this year. Cathedral staff turned off the church lights and pulled the women away.
The women say they were also protesting in support of gay marriage. France’s lower house of parliament approved a bill this week to legalize such unions. One of the activists' chants was "In gay we trust."
On its Facebook page, Femen stated, "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!"
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