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article imageFEMEN activists in 'Pope no more' protest against Vatican (video)

By Anne Sewell     Mar 13, 2013 in World
Rome - FEMEN have been up to their tricks again, with 2 topless activists protesting at Saint Peter's Square in Rome on Tuesday and 8 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, crying "Pope no more!" and protesting for gay marriage, as the cardinals' conclave continues.
Protesting against the Vatican's opposition to gay marriage, the two FEMEN activists threw off their clothing at the edge of Saint Peter's Square in the center of Rome, Italy, setting off red flares.
Chanting "Pope no more!", they were finally dragged away by police to a police station late on Tuesday.
On their Facebook page, FEMEN say, "While believers expected black and white smoke from a pipe, activists of FEMEN activated the torch with caustic blood-red smoke. The color of smoke is a symbol of the bloody violent history of Christianity and expresses FEMEN's determination to combat sexism of religion."
The latest topless protest comes as 115 Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world have locked themselves inside the Sistine Chapel to choose a new leader for Catholics. Yesterday black smoke was seen emanating from the chapel to advise the world that no decision had yet been made.
This smoke is apparently created by burning ballot papers used by the cardinals. To ensure that the smoke did not appear white (which would be a sign that a decision had been reached), chemical cartridges are reportedly added to make the smoke black.
Reuters reports that not everyone is protesting at the moment. A retired teacher from New York who is visiting Rome, Patricia Purdy told them, "I am on vacation and can't believe how lucky I am to be here at this moment," adding it was time for a younger pope.
"It would be good if he was young, so he can relate to younger people and bring them closer to the Church."
Another tourist, 55-year-old Lois Girten from Austin, Texas, told NBC News, "It’s in the air! You really feel it."
Girten apparently managed to secure a last-minute place on a two-week pilgrimage to Rome due to a cancellation. "It’s God’s gift that I’m in Rome just as the conclave takes place. I’m almost speechless with excitement, it’s a real treat for me," she added.
The cardinals' deliberations will continue on Wednesday and the "princes of the church" will not be seen or heard until their final decision has been reached and a successor found to Benedict XVI, who abdicated on February 28.
FEMEN protest in Paris
It turns out it was a busy day for the feminists yesterday, as 8 FEMEN activists disrobed and flashed their breasts inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Ukrainian women entered the cathedral wearing long coats before undressing at the altar. Their bodies were painted with slogans including "Crisis of faith," and “Pope no more!”. Beating bells with sticks, the activists shouted “Bye-bye Benedict!” and “No more homophobe!” to "congratulate the world" on the stepping down of Benedict XVI.
Apparently their protest only lasted for a few moments before the cathedral's security took all the women outside by force. However the activists remained outside the cathedral, shouting "In gay we trust!"
FEMEN protest against the Vatican s stance on gay marriage at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on March...
FEMEN protest against the Vatican's stance on gay marriage at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on March 12, 2013
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