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August 17th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

Man charged with planning to disrupt Spanish protest march ahead of papal visit

By Al Goodman, CNN

Madrid, Spain (CNN)–A man arrested in Madrid on suspicion of planning an attack against a demonstration to protest the visit of Pope Benedict XVI was a volunteer for the papal visit's organizing committee, a committee senior spokesman said Wednesday.

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday at the IFEMA fairgrounds by plainclothes police officers as he was about to receive a backpack and a green shirt worn by volunteers, said the spokesman, Rafa Rubio, the communications director for World Youth Day, told CNN.

A police statement Tuesday said a man studying chemistry in Madrid was arrested on suspicion he was planning an attack against a march set to protest the high cost of the visit of the pope to the Spanish capital starting Thursday, the police said.

The suspect "planned to attack using noxious gases and other chemical substances," the national police said in a statement.

The alleged target was a protest march set for Wednesday evening in Madrid, on the eve of the pope's four-day visit.

A police spokeswoman on Wednesday said the suspect is a Mexican national.

The police statement said the suspect was studying general organic chemistry at Spain's government-backed Higher Council for Scientific Investigations.

Rubio said the suspect, age 24, had completed the process to become a volunteer for World Youth Day and he added that the arresting officers at the volunteer check-in area were so discreet that many in the World Youth Day organization were not aware of what had happened until hours later.

The man is no longer a volunteer, Rubio said.

"His apparent thinking is not in the spirit of Christianity," Rubio said. "World Youth Day rejects all violence."

World Youth Day has 30,000 volunteers, many of them from outside of Spain.

At the suspect's home in the upscale Salamanca neighborhood of the capital, police seized a laptop computer, a portable memory device and two notebooks with notes about chemical procedures which were not related to his official studies, the statement said.

The suspect also allegedly was trying to recruit adherents through the Internet. The police statement said citizen collaboration helped lead police to the man.

The cost of the pope's visit to Spain, suffering a deep economic crisis with nearly 21% unemployment, has been top news here in recent days.

Benedict XVI is coming to World Youth Day, a weeklong series of religious events that the Roman Catholic Church organizes internationally every three years, last held in Sydney, Australia.

Organizers expect at least a million youth for the event and Madrid's streets already are filled with many thousands of young Catholics from around the globe, carrying their national flags.

Organizers say the $70 million cost is totally paid by the young people and corporate sponsors - with no cost to the taxpayer. But others in Spain say there are substantial hidden public costs, including the 10,000 police officers on duty for security, the use of the Cuatro Vientos military air base for Mass, and a discount for visiting Catholic youth on the city's metro, at the same time as regular metro fares have risen sharply.

Critics including Spanish groups called Christian Networks, Lay Europe and a third run by atheists convened a protest march over the costs on Wednesday, and they said they expect up to 10,000 people.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • Spain

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Damaliy Trevethana

    Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

    July 28, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  2. Joppa

    They were protesting the cost of 10,000 police officers? How silly, the expenses and sales taxes of the 1,500,000 pilgrims will easily defray that cost of the security. It would help their [the protesters] cause if only they look into the economic benefits of having 1.5 M in your city.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  3. John

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_6PxnvaySw&w=640&h=360]
    *

    August 22, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • ......

      This is SPAM and garbage, don't bother watching, click the report abuse link to get rid of this stupid TROLL.

      August 22, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  4. Kirk

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5X4N2exOsU&w=640&h=390]

    August 19, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  5. Faith

    Christians saved the world from the rule of atheists and terrorists.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Alex

      They did? Last I heard both were still around.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  6. Frogist

    So is Jose Pereze Bautista a Catholic terrorist? Yes, yes, he is. Wonder what the spin will be on this guy to make him yet another fringe element? Because as we all know Christians can't be violent or terrorists.

    August 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    Interpretation of Revelation, Chapter 17:

    Note: "scarlet coloured beast" means more or less "Europe", which has it's roots in the Empire of Charles the Great (Karl der Grosse). Charles the Great accepted that the imperial rule was shifted from Constantinopel to him by the pope (this was very presumptuous by the pope). When Charles accepted to be the new Roman Emperor, he accepted that the wh-ore climbed on the back of the Beast, which is Europe.

    For many centuries the worldly (secular) powers (Emperors, Kings, democratic governments) have "carried" the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). "Carried" means protected and even the European rulers submitted to the pope for 666 years.

    Now, currently, the multi-tudes gradually become so corrupt that even the foul wh-ore is too holy for them and they show public refusal against the wh-ore.

    This corrupt multi-tudes can no longer get ruled by "normal" governments. They need a strict ruler, who knows how they work. The ruler of downright sinners must be a downright Beast, that is very clear.

    On the one hand I am glad that the wh-ore declines, which has slayed plenty of true Christians., but one the other hand I am aware that we are about to enter a very dark age, darker than the Middle Ages.

    Let us go under the screen of Kyrios Jesus, who will destroy the Beast at last.

    August 18, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    The Beast abandons the wh-ore. That is great.

    Protests against the Pope in Spain are splashy.

    Why?

    Spain actually is an traditional arch-Catholic country (it was the center of the Counter-Reformation against the Protestants).

    So, obviously Spain experiences a big change. Maybe some years ago nobody could consider it possible that the Spanish youth would protest against the Holy Father. Surveys show that Spain is about to become a arch-secular state. Regarding the separation of state and church the Western Contries are secular for decades, but that even whole populations like the Spanish become secular, is a new occurence.

    Dr. Martin Luther said that, according to the Book of Revelation, papacy will perish. Finally the secular powers will no longer protect the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), as they did for centuries. That is epochal.

    Read Revelation, Chapter 17:

    1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great wh-ore that sitteth upon many waters:

    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

    3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

    4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

    5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

    7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

    8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    9 And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

    10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, [and] the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

    11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

    12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

    13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

    14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

    15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the wh-ore sitteth, are peoples, and multi-tudes, and nations, and tongues.

    16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the wh-ore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

    17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

    18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

    Maybe in 30 years the RCC will have degenerated to an insignificant sect.

    Should we rejoice at the decline of the RCC? It depends. Surely, it is good when an organization, which has murdered many true Christians, will decline, but what will come after the RCC? After the RCC comes The Beast. Being aware of an awful future, we should escape under Jesus’ screen. Jesus is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. Jesus is Lord-God (Kyrios).

    August 18, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    Who shall fight The Beast?

    Jesus Christ, Lord of all lords and King of all kings, will exterminate the Beast.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    Protests against the Pope in Spain are splashy.

    Why?

    Spain actually is an traditional arch-Catholic country (it was the center of the Counter-Reformation against the Protestants).
    So, obviously Spain experiences a big change. Maybe some years ago nobody could consider it possible that the Spanish youth would protest against the Holy Father (Benny Rat).

    Surveys show that Spain is about to become a arch-secular state. Regarding the separation of state and church the Western Contries are secular for decades, but that even whole populations like the Spanish become secular, is a new occurence.

    Dr. Martin Luther said that, according to the Book of Revelation, papacy will perish. Finally the secular powers will no longer protect the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), as they did for centuries. That is epochal.

    August 18, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • William Demuth

      Do you actually believe Revelations is literal?

      Seriously?

      August 18, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Read Revelation, Chapter 17:

      1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great wh-ore that sitteth upon many waters:

      August 18, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed for-nication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her for-nication.

      3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured be-ast, full of names of blas-phemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abomi-nations and filthi-ness of her for-nication:

      5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HAR-LOTS AND ABOMI-NATIONS OF THE EARTH.

      6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

      7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the be-ast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      8 The be-ast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into per-dition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the be-ast that was, and is not, and yet is.

      9 And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

      10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, [and] the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      11 And the be-ast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into per-dition.

      12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the be-ast.

      13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the be-ast.

      14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

      15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the who-re sitteth, are peoples, and multi-tudes, and nations, and tongues.

      16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the be-ast, these shall hate the who-re, and shall make her desolate and na-ked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

      17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the be-ast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

      18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

      Maybe in 30 years the RCC will have degenerated to an insignificant sect.

      Should we rejoice at the decline of the RCC?

      It depends. Surely, it is good when an organization, which has murdered many true Christians, will decline, but what will come after the RCC?

      After the RCC comes The Be-ast.

      Being aware of an awful future, we should escape under Jesus' screen. Jesus is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. Jesus is Lord-God (Kyrios).

      Pray that Jesus gives you a revelation of himself.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  11. Faith

    Europe needs Christianity. Europe is the neediest mission field.

    August 18, 2011 at 4:35 am |
    • William Demuth

      And if they don't want it I guess you intend to kill them, just like the nut this article is about?

      You are a brainwashed automaton, and a threat to yourself and society at large.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Faith

      Atheists massacred Europeans before. This time the foes are hedonistic atheists. Worse.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • RED

      Are you for REAL????please gime a break,how can you say only Europe?do you think USA no need God

      August 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  12. Luke

    Pope Benedict ... the head of the Catholic Church .... The World Youth Day is the best gathering for all the young people form all over the church to be united and to increase their faith ~ The visit of His Holiness is the presence of God, I think this person whom protest is a bit too sensitive or he doing this on purpose to make the situation chaos !

    August 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Is Catholic Youth Day where they line up all the altar boys and anally penetrate them en masse?

      August 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Luke.. then let the Catholic Church pick up the entire tab..they get a free pass on any property taxes.. as do all churches and still expect tax payer to put out.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I just hope when he gets assasinated it is a Christian that does it.

      The Muslim / Christian relationship already has about six wars cooking already

      August 18, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  13. Amistavia

    Another example of the beauty of religion. When is the first world going to come to its senses and classify faith as a mental disorder?

    August 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  14. Faith

    Nazis indoctrinated the German youth to hate the Jews. Media indoctinate the West to hate Christianity.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Or maybe you're just naturally detestable?

      August 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Dipstick

      In case you hadn't noticed the Nazi's were CHRISTIANS.

      Some reports have Christmas trees in the gaurd barracks at Treblinka.

      Your faith is a creation on men filled with hatred.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • Faith

      Nazis massacred Protestants and Catholics and were taken down by the Christian British and Christian Americans. Christian Europeans also took down the Iron Curtain 45 years later.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Faith

      Nazis massacred Protestants and Catholics and were taken down by the Christian British and Christian Americans.
      --------------–
      And that still doesn't change the fact that they were christians. You really are not very smart....WOW!

      August 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Faith

      No, they were Germans. Don't insult others. I'm not German.

      August 20, 2011 at 1:29 am |
  15. Bo

    Souunds like a good idea for the police to use these noxtious gases to break up riots. Nobody gets hurt.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  16. crrodriguez

    Oh, the christian taliban... why Im not surprised... faith is death's best friend..

    August 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Faith

      America never experienced Taliban. Christians are used to atheists' and others' death threats.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Really Faith? I know from previous experience that you're a nutter, but even for you this is a stretch. Please name and Christian, or anyone else who has ever been killed by a person who claimed they were doing if for Atheism.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Faith

      @Ami-, dig out the history of all former Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, abortion clinics throughout the world. Atheists massacred a billion.

      August 18, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  17. Faith

    Spain gave the hardest time to non-Catholics for the longest time and now this? Spain needs religious freedom and peace.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  18. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    People of Spain, keep your young sons close the Pope/Catholic Church is riding into town.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Faith

      Young boys should stay away from parents, teachers, politicians, police officers and de-fi-nitely from Hollywood workers for safety.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Faith.. notice how many more carpets there are in the Vatican than schools,police stations etc...If you lift them up you may see a lot swept under them

      August 18, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Faith

      @EvolvedDNA: Homes and schools and the Hollywood studios are the most dangerous places for boys and girls.

      August 18, 2011 at 4:29 am |
    • William Demuth

      Faith

      More American boys are bugered by priests than killed by terrorists

      August 18, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • Faith

      American boys are being made feminized by the liberals – the worst child-abuse. Catholic priests are far safer for children than parents and teachers.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  19. *frank*

    The pope is a noxious gas.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  20. Reality

    As with all of these shows, the government levies an entertainment tax to cover expenses.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.