A topless feminist activist allegedly tried to steal a statue of the baby Jesus from a Vatican Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Monday.
Witnesses say the woman, identified as Alisa Vinogradova, yelled “God is a woman” before leaping over a guardrail and making a run toward the St. Peter’s Square Nativity scene, Reuters reported.
Vatican police stopped the female rabble-rouser, who had the words “God is woman” painted in black on her bare back, and detained her before she could take the statue.
The activist was with the Ukrainian radical feminist group FEMEN, which states on its website that its goal is to obtain “complete victory over patriarchy.”
“FEMEN considers the anti-war policy of the Vatican a rough medieval attack on the freedom of women and their natural rights,” the organization wrote in a blog about the incident. “FEMEN encourages women to follow the example of the movement and kidnap babies from religious denominations, thus, stating their right to use of their own body!”
The incident occurred two hours before Pope Francis was set to give his Christmas Day address to 50,000 people in St. Peter’s Square.
The protest also took place the day after a group of FEMEN activists staged a protest at the Vatican Nativity scene where they exposed their bare chests, painted with phrases such as “#metoo” and “assaulted by the church.”
A similar incident took place in 2014, but the activist in that case snatched the baby Jesus from the altar before authorities detained her.