A tourist was asked to leave Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral for breastfeeding her child, according to Czech daily Blesk which first reported the story.
Canadian mother Marianne Drouin was visiting the Czech capital’s most iconic landmark on Wednesday with her husband and 2-year-old daughter when she sat on the floor of the cathedral to nurse the child, using the child’s wide-brimmed hat to cover herself.
Drouin was asked to leave the cathedral by a security guard, who can be heard to say in a video made by the woman’s husband: “If you want to be a liberal mom you can do so but just go outside.”
Despite the guard’s insistence that she leave Drouin remained inside the cathedral and finished feeding the child, responding to the castle employee in the video, “I won’t go outside. She’s hungry now and I don’t want to go all the way outside and come back in.”
Later the Montreal native posted a comment to the Czech Laktační liga Facebook page, writing:
“I was told I couldn’t breastfeed inside the cathedral. The man was really insistent, he asked me many times (I refused to leave, I learned afterwards that indeed I was right, even the Pope encouraged mothers to breastfeed inside the church). I was really shocked by this experience.”
A Prague Castle spokesperson says that the castle administration considers the exchange a non-incident, maintaining that the employee did the right thing by offering the woman a different place to breastfeed other than “the cold stone floor in the busiest part of St. Vitus Cathedral.”
A similar incident occurred in Prague earlier this year when a Czech woman breastfeeding her one-year-old while waiting in line at a Raiffeisenbank in the city center was asked to leave by a security guard, who described her actions as “exhibitionist”.