Topless women cheer pope’s farewell in Paris protest

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: February 12, 2013 02:29PM
Updated: February 12, 2013 05:35PM
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Activists of the Women's Movement FEMEN, protest against Pope Benedict XVI who announced his resignation yesterday, in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Paris • Topless women activists 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 didn’t explain their action except to say they are “provocateurs” celebrating Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down later this month.

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 away the women.

The women say they’re also protesting in support of gay marriage. France’s lower house of parliament approved a bill Tuesday to legalize such unions.