MANILA, Nov. 21, 2014—For a Filipino Catholic priest based in Rome, the style used by a group of radical feminists recently at the Vatican supposedly in protest of Pope Francis’ “interference” in European political affairs defeats their supposed objectives.
“Treating any part of the body as an instrumental commodity, which is what I believe FEMEN does, runs contrary to what the group stands for in the first place … Other than winning a cause, they actually lose it even before fighting,” Fr. Norman Melchor Peña shared.
The human body being the “most perfect form of art, the peak of Creation, made in God’s image and likeness”, Peña pointed out that in exposing their bodies, FEMEN only succeeded in deafeating the purpose of the organization.
According to him, the right to manifest has always been a “hallmark” of European society, but admits FEMEN’s brand of self-manifestation already crosses the line
“Distinct in the Femen manifestation is not its end—championing the rights against inequality in persons and resources—but its means: exposure of bare breasts, symbolic of maternal nourishment and strength,” the priest notes.
In keeping with their “breast-fed revolution”, three members of FEMEN picketed “topless” in St. Peter’s Square and desecrated crucifixes on Nov. 14, decrying the Catholic Church’s alleged involvement in the secular arena while chanting “The Pope is not a politician,God is not a magician”.
“It was not the first of its kind. In a number of European places the Femen group had demonstrated against unequal atrocities in countries and even [for] the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013,” Peña said.
An entry posted on their official website reads “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”.
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. (Raymond A. Sebastián)