Archbishop Leonard stayed in silent prayer until the women were removed
Brussels, Belgium – Four semi-nude feminist protestors attacked Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Malinas-Brussels during a recent conference on freedom of expression.
The April 18 conference took place at the Free University of Brussels and was entitled, “Blasphemy – crime or freedom of expression.”
The four women, who belong to the radical group Femen, removed their shirts and used plastic bottles similar those used by pilgrims at Lourdes to throw water at the archbishop while shouting insults and making violent gestures.
The women painted their bodies with the phrases, “My body, my rules” and “God loves lesbians.” They also carried a sign which read, “Stop homophobia.”
Archbishop Leonard remained silently in prayer until security officials were able to intervene and remove the protestors.
After the incident, the archbishop picked up one of the bottles, which was shaped in the image of the Virgin Mary, and kissed it as a sign of reparation.
In 2010 and 2011, Archbishop Leonard was the target of attacks for his statements against homosexual acts and abortion.