Femen activist snatches baby Jesus
The creepy picture above shows Pope Francis going down on a statue of the baby Jesus during Christmas night mass at St Peter’s Basilica. Hours before, another statue of the infant messiah had been recovered by a Vatican plod from the clutches of a member of women’s rights group Femen.
The Vatican, according to this report, said it had arrested Aleksandrovna Azhdanova, who, on Christmas Day, bared her breasts and snatched a statue of the baby Jesus from a nativity scene in front of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square.
Femen’s website says the woman was protesting as part of its anti-clerical “Massacre of the Innocents” campaign contesting religions’:
Maniacal desire to control women’s fertility.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Ukrainian citizen Iana Aleksandrovna Azhdanova was being detained before questioning by a Vatican judge.
He said she was accused of vilification of religion, obscene acts in public, and theft. He claimed her action:
Offended the religious feelings of many people.
A Vatican policeman stopped Azhdanova, who had “God is woman” written on her chest, and covered her with his cape. She staged her protest shortly after Pope Francis had finished reading his Christmas greeting to the crowd.
Femen activists have staged protests at the Vatican before, the latest last month, and have been let go. But Lombardi said the Vatican had decided to be firm this time and arrest Azhdanova because her action was:
Lombardi said the group had:
Intentionally, repeatedly and gravely violated the right of the faithful to see their legitimate religious convictions respected.
This Guardian report added that the Vatican was deciding whether to put Azhdanova on trial, and quoted Lombardi as saying that:
The religiously hostile nature of her protest must be regarded as extremely serious due to the setting and circumstances.
The Vatican – which can either try transgressors on its territory or expel them to Italian courts – is also holding Italian businessman Marcello di Finizio, who was arrested on Friday for scaling the facade of St Peter’s basilica to protest an EU directive.
Di Finizio had a gripe about a measure forcing Italy to open up bidding for state concessions on operating beach-side businesses. He said this threatened the survival of the resort he runs in Trieste.