STOCKHOLM, February 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toting a sign in English reading “Catholic Church out of my body” and chanting “my body, my rules,” a trio of shirtless Femen protesters invaded the Catholic Cathedral in Stockholm during evening Mass on January 30.
Smeared with fake blood and sporting coat hangers and slogans saying “abortion is sacred” written across their chests, the three women disrupted the Mass for a few moments before being whisked away by church members and staff.
A woman who hustled one of the protesters away is heard to say “Shame on you!” in a video of the incident.
The attack, planned in response to the Spanish government’s recently proposed bill to restrict abortion, was obviously well organized as the group had photographers on hand to record the protest.
To watch a video of the incident, click here. (Viewer discretion advised.)
The Femen website states that their attack on the Swedish church “is a continuation of the sequence of mass European protests against wild law to ban abortion, discussed in Spanish parliament.”
The “sextremists,” as they call themselves, used the same props and slogans in an attack on the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, on February 2, also in a protest over the proposed Spanish bill.
Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm condemned the “sexual provocation” in a statement January 31, calling it “deeply disturbing and ominous” that such attacks on churches are becoming more commonplace. The bishop urged the protesters to express their grievances in a “civilized manner.”
Helena D’Arcy of the Swedish pro-life organization Respekt told LifeSiteNews that Arborelius decided not to report the incident to the police, “as no one in the Church would like to give Femen any more attention at the moment.”
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D’Arcy added that the incident prompted the Council of Swedish Christians and many denominations to express their support for Bishop Arborelius, but noted that there was none expressed by the government.
“We can only sigh and shrug our shoulders at what happened at the Cathedral,” she said. “We, the Church as well as Respekt – its pro-life movement here in Sweden – are always willing to enter into dialogue and participate in discussions and debates about important matters, but to hold Swedish Catholics accountable for a proposed change to the Spanish abortion law is simply ludicrous.”
Femen – whose slogan is “our mission is protest, our weapons are bare breasts” – has become famous in recent years for staging controversial bare-chested protests.
Some of their recent targets have included Brussels Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, who was doused with water; the Vatican, where they shouted “Pope no more” in St. Peter’s Square; the Ukrainian government, which they targeted over plans to outlaw abortion in some cases; the Orthodox Church in Russia, over the imprisonment of a Russian punk band that staged a protest in the sanctuary of a church; and the Quebec National Assembly, over the crucifix that hangs on its wall.