As protesters gathered outside Peru's Apostolic Nunciature last Saturday to speak out against recent statements by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone connecting pedophilia and homosexuality, a group of Peruvian Catholics showed up in counter-protest to pray the Rosary and defend the Church.
Pro-life organizations organized the counter-protest which brought together many young people who eagerly demonstrated their public support of the Pope and the Church at large.
The gathering lasted for almost two hours. During that time, the counter-protesters sang songs, prayed the Rosary and shouted slogans such as, "Long live Benedict XVI!" "Long live the Church!" and "Long live Celibacy!"
To the rhythm of the chant, "Benedict my friend, Peru is with you," Catholics wearing white shirts as a symbol of solidarity calmly stood before protesters from groups such as Catholics for Free Choice and various gay rights groups.
"We came to pray for the Pope who is being attacked unjustly,” said Marcos, a college student present at the counter-protest. “I believe that Benedict XVI is a saint who has acted very strongly against cases” of abusive priests, the young man affirmed.
Maria Carmen, a Catholic mother who was also present, said, "It is the duty of all Catholics to defend the Pope and the Church.
“We need to make clear that it is only a few members of the clergy who have committed disgraceful acts,” she declared. "I know of many holy priests that do marvelous things which no one ever speaks of, and that is regrettable.”