BRUSSELS, October 24, 2013 ( – In their second physical assault of the year on the same target, a group of topless women, thought to be paid “protesters” of the extreme-left group Femen, have attacked Andrè-Joseph Leonard, the strongly pro-life and pro-family Catholic Archbishop of Mechelen Brussels.

On Friday, October 11th, during a meeting at the Catholic St. Michael’s College in Brussels, four topless Femen activists stormed the stage wrapped in the rainbow flag, the symbol of the homosexualist movement, disrupting a lecture and throwing a pie in the archbishop’s face.

The bare-breasted women also accosted the speaker, French politician and leader of the French Christian Democratic Party Christine Boutin, who is known for her vocal opposition to legally recognised same-sex unions, 

Femen, a radical leftwing feminist-anarchist protest organisation, has repeatedly targeted Archbishop Leonard for his outspoken opposition to the homosexualist movement’s goals.

In April, the group broke in on a lecture the archbishop was giving at the ULB University in Brussels during a public debate on blasphemy laws.

As the topless women doused him with water and screamed pro-homosexual slogans, Archbishop Leonard sat praying silently. After the ordeal, the archbishop kissed the image of the Virgin Mary on one of the water bottles that was used in the attack.

In the Oct. 11th pie assault, the Archbishop reportedly “stole the show,” raising more than a few smiles when he calmly tasted the pie.


The latest attack had followed comments by Archbishop Leonard to the press on the moral inadmissibility of child euthanasia. The Belgian parliament is considering a measure that would allow doctors to kill children and young people, to which Archbishop Leonard responded that the detrimental moral effect of legalised euthanasia “isn’t confined to the consequences on the individual that it claims, but changes the fundamental relationship with life and death in society, undermining the vital bond of solidarity of all citizens with those who suffer.”

The new bill proposes to extend existing euthanasia legislation to those under the age of 18 years if they request it with the consent of parents and a psychologist. Belgium’s loose euthanasia law has come under severe international criticism as it is revealed that staggering numbers of patients are killed without their consent or the consent of family members.

The bishop asked, “Is this decision …of entrusting to others the task of terminating our lives truly compatible with the Rule of the Law?”

The European Episcopal Conference issued a statement of solidarity with Archbishop Leonard, saying that the Femen activists are “totally implausible and without any sense of decency”.

Started in Urkaine in 2008, Femen has in the last few years received massive attention in the international press with their topless demonstrations and desecrations of churches, including destruction of religious art, in France, Belgium, Italy, Ukraine and Russia. Topless Femen protesters disrupted one of Benedict XVI’s Angelus addresses in Rome in November 2011.

Although Femen’s leadership claims the group has 150,000 grassroots supporters and opposes prostitution, Italian journalist Giuseppe Nardi writes, on the German language Catholic website, that Femen’s topless protesters are in fact prostitutes recruited from “escort” services and paid through a club in Kiev.

In May, reported that “a Russian journalist” had used the website of an escort service to match tattoos of the Femen protesters to women featured on the website. Nardi writes that the Femen “activists” who disrupted the first Manif Pour Tous demonstration in Paris against the introduction of “gay marriage” in France had been “ordered” from a Ukrainian escort service and flown in. At a cost of “thousands of euros per day,” Nardi writes, including “expenses for costumes, makeup services and stylists.”

Recently it was revealed by feminist filmmaker Kitty Green that Femen is in fact a project of a mysterious Ukrainian man, Viktor Svyatski, who reportedly has a liking for attractive women whom he abuses and “dominates”. Svyatski told Green in an interview for her documentary, “The girls are weak. They don’t have the strength of character. They don’t even have the desire to be strong. Instead, they show submissiveness, spinelessness, lack of punctuality, and many other factors which prevent them from becoming political activists. These are qualities which it was essential to teach them.” 

Although Femen leader Inna Shevchenko denied claims that Svyatski had “founded” the group, she admitted that he had begun to “dominate” the organization. She called him “sexism, male domination, and oppression against women personified.” 

“He was a man in a women’s group; he was elder, smarter,” she wrote. “And us, those who were at the first stage of our feminism and activism, we were young and not experienced girls.”


Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.