Written by Erskin Quint
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Friday, 26 March 2010

image for Pope Targeted by Flash Mob Protest
"The Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties."

The performance art troupe who recently sabotaged an Ieka advertising campaign on the Paris Metro - dancers staged a five-minute flash mob protest around sofas and trompe-l'oeil bookcases and wardrobes placed on Metro platforms by the Swedish furniture giant, in order to highlight social inequities - have turned their attention to the Catholic Church Hierarchy.

The troupe, led by avant-garde dancer Sandrine Avouabe, descended on Vatican City yesterday, in a flash mob attack on the Catholic Church and its leader The Pope.

Protesters contorted and posed in St Peter's Square, moving in and out of the soft mists that cloaked the dark bulk of the Basilica, taunting the Swiss Guards and astonishing the gathered onlookers.

Dancers dressed as Catholic Priests gyrated in a devotional halo around a central figure clad in Papal Vestments, whose hands, encased in Pontifical Gloves, traced the lineaments of benediction in the silvery light. At the edge of this configuration, Boy Children, in the guise of Choirboys, their ears bandaged and plugged, whirled and skipped in a merry caper, seemingly glad to follow the moving tableau.

But then, as golden shafts of sunlight began to burn through the rags of mist, several of the Priestly Dancers began to split off from the central group, and to encircle the children, and descend upon them, and, in a horrifying conclusion, as the main procession climaxed in an orgiastic veneration of the central Pontiff-Figure, to throw themselves upon the cowering victims and cover them, thrashing and writhing in a darkly-ecstatic consummation.

It seemed - to this shocked observer - to represent at one and the same time a perversion of the principal ceremonial, and an almost inevitable corollary of its intoxicating intensities.

Choreographer and leader Ms Avouabe, 25, had already posted a series of videos of 17 dance movements on the internet, including "the deaf boys get no hearing", "the closet", "the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties", "defrock the children", and "our stinking vestments are immaculate on the outside".

And then, no sooner had the heights of devotional ecstacy of the main body of participants been matched by the depths of depravity of the predatory sub-group, than the event was no more, and the performers had dispersed into the delicate flinders of slaty mist that still hung about the ancient walled enclave, leaving the Swiss Guards, in doublet, cuirass and morion, agape in wonderment and intense thought.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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