The incident occurred as thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear Pope Francis’ Christmas Day message.
The woman, who was wearing pants and shoes, was a member of the international feminist organization Femen, CNN reported. She was identified as Ukrainian “sextremist” Alisa Vinogradova and had “God is Woman” written on her torso.
Vinogradova was stopped by Vatican police before she could flee with the doll.
Femen said the act was a protest against the Vatican’s “infringement of the rights of women to their own bodies,” CNN reported. Those alleged infringements included the pope’s “promotion of the ban on abortion” and “sacred condemnation” of contraception.
This is not the first time Femen has tried to steal the baby Jesus from the Vatican Nativity scene. An attempt in 2014 also failed. CNN reported.