The resignation of the head of the Catholic Church has been greeted with a show of flesh by topless FEMEN protesters.
A handful of women stormed Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI's decision to stand down.
Chanting "Bye bye Benedict" and "No more homophobe" the group banged bells with sticks and sported slogans on their naked chests which read "Crisis of faith" and "Pope no more".
FEMEN protestors at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday
A triumphant posting on the group's Facebook page read:
NO MORE POPE!
FEMEN France sextremists played a funeral march by ringing bells of the citadel of Catholicism Notre Dame de Paris for the Pope. The fight between activists and grieving popephiles and the security took place during the action . The stuff of the museum decided to switch off the light to obstruct the work of journalists.
FEMEN France noted the final hour of the homophobic Pope. FEMEN is congratulating the whole progressive world with the resignation of fascist Benedict XVI from the place of the head of the Catholic mafia. It's symbolic that today is the day of the voting of law of same-sex marriage in France. The ex-Pope was a fierce opponent of gay marriages. FEMEN applaud the complete capitulation of the middle age homophobia! Pope go to the devil! Viva common sense! Viva freedom!
Parishioners were less enthused, with one woman telling AFP: "This is a sacred place, you can't strip here."
The Ukrainian group claims two protesters lost teeth during scuffles to remove the women from the premises.
It comes following the Pope's announcement on Monday that he is to resign on February 28. The Vatican confirmed the 85-year-old's ailing health means he can no longer meet the challenges the church must face in the modern world.
In an official statement, the Pope said he had "repeatedly examined my conscience before God" but had concluded "that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
"I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering."
FEMEN protested in support of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, holding aloft signs saying 'f**k Putin' and 'Free Pussy Riot'.
FEMEN were founded in 2008 and their unique form of protest has since spread. The group held demonstrations in London protesting the Olympics' "support" for radical Islamist regimes.
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