Feminists cheer pope's farewell in Paris protest

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Associated Press

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 1:07 PM

PARIS (AP) — 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 the women away.

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.

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