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MADRID (LifeSiteNews) — Hundreds of Catholics have taken to the streets to pray the Rosary amid protests against the socialist government of Spain. Some of the Rosary rallies have been banned by the police, in what organizers have decried as “tyranny.”

Since November 12, faithful Catholics have taken to the streets every evening to pray the Rosary on the steps of a church dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Santuario Inmaculado Corazón de María), which is located on Ferraz Street in Madrid, near the headquarters of the governing Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE).

On November 27, the Rosary rallies gained international attention when the organizer of the events, José Andrés Calderón, reported that the Rosary rally on November 27 and the other prayer events planned for the rest of November had been banned by the government. According to a screenshot Calderón posted on X (formerly Twitter), the police banned the events because of a failure by the organizer to comply with the “communications deadlines established in O.L. 9/1983.”  

According to a report by ACI Prensa, gatherings of more than 20 people have to be announced to the police 10 days in advance, except in cases of emergency.   

In an exclusive statement to LifeSiteNews, Calderón said that the group had been able to pray the Rosary daily without disturbance from the authorities since November 12, until the police informed him of the ban on November 27. 

Calderón told LifeSiteNews that he defied the government mandate and held the prayer rallies anyway because the ban was “completely unfair.” He added that in the face of “tyranny, we have [a] moral obligation of disobeying the established power.” 

Calderón received a fine on November 29 for defying the police orders as the Spanish Catholics continued to gather every evening to pray on the steps of the Sanctuario Inmaculado Corazón de María.  

Catholics singing the Salve Regina during one of the Rosary rallies

Calderón legally challenged the police order at the Madrid Superior Court of Justice, but the court agreed with the police and upheld the ban on the Rosary rallies. 

“The TSJ of Madrid has just informed us that they agree with the Government Delegate in his prohibition on praying the Rosary in Ferraz,” Calderón wrote on X. 

He remained defiant and added, “I can only tell you one thing: AT 7:30 PM WE WILL CONTINUE PRAYING IN FERRAZ.” 

“Without any fear. God with us!” 

In another post, he wrote: “There are Catholics who are clear about who we serve. It is none other than the King of Kings. They can fine us and do whatever they want. We do not care. God is with us.” 

“Viva Cristo Rey [long live Christ the king]! National November!” 

The Spanish Catholics have gathered on the steps before the Sanctuario Inmaculado Corazón de María every evening since then. 

Young Catholic leader: We will continue praying ‘without fear’ 

Calderón told LifeSiteNews that it is not clear yet whether the police will ban the Rosary rallies in December as well. 

“In any case, regardless of the decision of the politician, we will continue praying without fear of anyone or anything,” he said. 

The young Catholic leader explained that the Superior Justice Court in Madrid had ruled that there was no case of “urgency” to pray the Rosary.  

“It is quite the remarkable thing, considering that worship should never be prohibited,” he continued. “Not only that, but the urgency of the moment did exist as the rallies are still being held.” 

Calderón said he “will explore all of the legal avenues,” including taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights. 

“It is our right to battle, as there is much at stake,” he stated. “Spain has reached a point where we are not allowed to worship God.” 

Calderón told LifeSiteNews about “the many problems that grip our nation.” 

“The Spanish nation has been condemned to a corrupt partitocracy that has not governed for the common good, but has sought its personal enrichment and the spiritual erosion of Spain.” 

“Whether by action, omission or pusillanimous cowardice, the oligarchies have imposed by hook or by crook a progressive and globalist agenda.” 

“In the last half century, the Overton window has shifted dangerously and abruptly towards bizarre and poisonous delusions,” he stated. “The ideological mode of thought has permeated the zeitgeist.”  

Calderón stressed that the “right-wingers” were not spared from these modern corruptions either. He lamented that the “[t]he defense of religion, the homeland, the family, the natural hierarchical order, and virtue” have largely been abandoned by both the political left and right.  

Background: The socialist government’s deal with separatists 

Since early November, many Spaniards have been demonstrating uninterruptedly every afternoon in the vicinity of the Socialist Party’s headquarters to protest the agreements reached to form a government and keep the Socialists in power. 

On November 9, the head of the PSOE and current president, Pedro Sánchez, announced an agreement had been reached between his party and the leaders of the Catalan secessionist parties. The deal involved granting amnesty to Catalan politicians convicted of sedition. 

The Catalan government held a referendum on declaring its independence from Spain on October 1, 2017. The referendum had been declared unconstitutional by the Spanish constitutional court beforehand. The Catalonian government proceeded with the referendum anyway and declared independence on October 27, 2017. In 2020, the Spanish Supreme Court found the independence movement leaders guilty of the crime of sedition and sentenced them to long prison sentences. 

Some Spanish bishops have spoken out against the “immoral” agreement between the Socialist president and the separatists. Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of the Diocese Orihuela-Alicante said, “the fact that some politicians grant amnesty to other politicians who have committed crimes in exchange for them giving them their votes and allowing them to continue governing is immoral.” The prelate also noted that the deal violates the separation of powers, as the government effectively overruled high court decisions. 

Archbishop Jesús Sanz Montes of Ovideo stated on November 5 that “amnesty is not a clean slate.” 

“Those who committed serious and violent crimes against coexistence [the separatists], destroying the rule of law, determine the future of a people with their bargaining chip. Accomplices who sell other people’s property for a mess of pottage to stay in power.” 

The archbishop of Valladolid, Archbishop Luis Argüello, lamented the spiritual degeneration of the country in the past 40 years. He said that “in the political science of the last 40 years, the category of the common good has been replaced by the category of ‘interest’” of one political party or another.