A mob of screaming anti-Catholic and leftist protesters descended on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, on Nov. 1. The church is the resting of Argentine hero Jose de San Martin and just a short walk away from Argentina's national palace known as the Pink House. Police and a human chain of Catholics prevented the raucaus protesters from defacing the historic building.
The protesters had marched from the seat of Argentina's congress to the Plaza de Mayo, known worldwide for the speeches of 1940s dictator Juan Peron and celebrated wife, Evita. The leftist and anti-Catholics met with fervent prayer on the part of Catholics assembled at the cathedral, some of whom shouted 'Viva Cristo Rey!" - Long live Christ the King!, and "Viva Maria, Reina del Cielo!" - Long live Mary the Queen of Heaven." These chants are well-known throughout Latin America and were invoked especially by Mexican counter-revolutionaries in the early years of the 1920s. Catholics were also seen praying the Rosary or calling on Michael the Archangel to preserve them.
Rev. Alejandro Ruso, with the consent of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, called upon police for help. Police officers installed a metal fence to protect the church from the sort of damage pro-abortion activists caused to a church in the province of Posadas last month. Some of the protesters were heard to shout 'Get your rosaries off my ovaries!" and "Yes to life, yes to abortion!"
The pro-abortion protesters in Buenos Aires arrived at the cathedral as vespers was being prayed and began shouting insults and blasphemies against Jesus Christ and Catholic priests. It was during the years of dictator Juan Peron, a Nazi sympathizer, that churches were burned in Buenos Aires and the city of Rosario by Peronists. The recent protest against the church drew comparisons to the 1940s since the current Argentine president, Cristina Kirchner, is also a Peronist who has led Argentina on a course at variance with Catholic teachings on abortion and homosexual unions.
Leftist and pro-abortion activists at the most recent affray injured a priest inside the cathedral, as well as a police officer.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.