One of Christendom’s most sacred days… in the main cathedral of Cologne, Germany: the High Cathedral of St. Peter. The setting is Gothic, dating from the 13th century. What can possibly go wrong?
Christmas mass is being aired live. Thousands of pious Catholics fill the pews. Then, shouting at the top of her lungs, naked from the waist up, 20-year-old philosophy student Josephine Witt shoots from the congregation and bounces up high onto the altar!
She is an activist with the feminist movement FEMEN.
In a flash, from every point of the compass, robed and suited men in black and red and white flock to her towering bare legs, their pawing movements easily seen in various video testimonies, imploring her to come down.
Daubed in dark paint on her breasts and abdomen are the words ‘I AM GOD!’
Within seconds, she is dislodged from the focal point of the candle-rich, incense-laden massive celebration. Yet she alights at the foot of the altar genuflecting only briefly, before springing completely upright again in an instant, her arms still raised as if spelling the letter ‘y’, and still shouting.
Numerous effigies of Christ adorn the great church, the figures traditionally portrayed much like Josephine, with only the loins covered.
A man with a full head of grey hair takes off his own jacket to cover her. She is dragged away by perhaps half a dozen of the horrified clerics.
The FEMEN press service reported on Wednesday: “The activist climbed the altar to protest Vatican propaganda for the criminalisation of abortion.”
On the organisation’s website, a text reads: “FEMEN is breaking the strategies of patriarchy in ownership of women’s bodies… [patriarchy] that is protected and hidden by religions. No cross [or] text can tell women how to sacrifice their freedom. We will not let any white-dressed freak put [his] nose in women’s vagina[s].”
FEMEN states its ideology is built around ‘sextremism, atheism and feminism.’
The movement “demands that the old people in the Vatican and their fanatical adepts bring their religious dogmas into compliance with the modern world and human rights.”