MANILA, Nov. 18, 2014—While condemning what she believes to be the offensive and insentive conduct of three “radical feminists” who picketed topless and defaced crucifixes in St. Peter’s Square recently, a Catholic sister stressed the Church only has mercy and compassion—coupled with justice—to offer them.
“…as for the Church, we respond with mercy and compassion but also coupled with justice,” Sr. Anthony Mary E. Basa, a sister of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM), told CBCPNews in an interview.
Basa, who is also the executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Culture (ECC), described the act of the FEMEN group as “offensive” and “insentive to religious belief, symbols, and values” for violating “human respect and proper public conduct”.
“I am not against freedom of expression if ever they have something against our Pope, but it should be within the bounds of respect and peaceful ways,” she shared.
Basa pointed out what the radical feminists have done amounted to a “public nuisance”, an activity which harms or annoys others, like indecent behavior or littering. .
“So let the civil court judge what disciplinary action is proper to their actions and violations. And as for the Church, we respond with mercy and compassion but also coupled with justice,” she said.
I believe that they also need help as human persons because what they have done is something beyond psychological normalcy and balance,” she added.
The Ukraine-founded, Paris-based group has caught media attention in recent years due to its controversial, often scandalous, carefully-staged “bare-breasted” protests against social, national, and international issues like sexism and homophobia, the alleged impositions of religion, among others.
According to their official website, the “three FEMEN appeared in Vatican, at the St. Peter Square to denounce the visit of Pope Francis in EU Parliament on November 25th” and that they protest against a “direct attack on secularism led by Catholic Church”. (Raymond A. Sebastián)