Pope John Paul II Tuesday urged a common political structure for Europe during a speech that was interrupted when the Rev. Ian Paisley, a militant Protestant leader, shouted "I renounce you!"
The address to the European Parliament - an advisory body to the 12-member European Economic Community - was the pontiff's main speech during his four-day trip to northeastern France.After a welcome by Lord Plumb, president of the 518-member Parliament, the pope began speaking but was immediately interrupted by Paisley, standing about 11 rows from the pope's lecturn at the back of the wood-paneled room.
"I renounce you! I renounce you as the anti-Christ!" shouted Paisley, a parliamentarian and the leader of the Irish Protestant Democratic Unionist Party, the more militant of the two main Protestant parties in Northern Ireland.
Other parliamentarians surrounded Paisley, threw papers at him and tore from his hands a crude orange banner reading, "John Paul II, anti-Christ."
Plumb called twice for order over Paisley's shouts, then had him ejected. The room, filled with parliamentarians, press and visitors, erupted in applause when deputies and security guards dragged Paisley away.
Paisley later told journalists: "I was hammered. I was beaten about the ears and the body."