Rosary Procession Leads Massive Freedom Rally

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Rosary Procession Leads Massive Freedom Rally

After a turbulent week in Melbourne, Catholics again turned out in force for a public Rosary procession, joining a huge Freedom rally that saw a total of more than 50,000 march against vaccine mandates and COVID tyranny.

For the third week in a row, a group of Catholics from all over Greater Melbourne processed from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Parliament House, praying the Rosary and singing hymns. The group, which began with only 60 members, reached ten times that number in the second week, while more than 700 joined last Saturday’s rally.

The procession was led by a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which was carried right into the thronging and mainly secular crowd. Agnostics, atheists, and pagans gasped and applauded, seemingly comforted by the sight of an image of their Heavenly Mother. This reflects a distinct rise in the religiosity on display among freedom protesters all over the world.

The Catholic presence at Melbourne’s freedom rallies brings into focus the grave spiritual battle that is raging in Victoria. Catholics have been waiting for one of their bishops to speak out against a proposed law that could lead to the incarceration of those who refuse COVID vaccines. The Pandemic Powers bill would allow Premier Daniel Andrews, a Catholic, to bypass the Parliamentary process, giving him unlimited power over his citizens in the name of “health.”

Last week, sixty eminent lawyers signed an open letter requesting that the bill, which has already passed in Victoria’s Lower House, be sent to a committee for further scrutiny. The lawyers referred to the proposed law as the “rule by decree.”

Instead of speaking out against the undemocratic bill, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, banned his priests from attending the Rosary processions and Freedom rallies. On the eve of the second protest, Archbishop Comensoli emailed his priests to tell them not to attend.

Despite the treacherous compliance of Comensoli, some priests still attended the third rally. Priests from the Society of St Pius X, for whom Archbishop Comensoli is not the Ordinary, joined the laity in praying and marching for freedom. Their presence boosted the spirits of the faithful who had been aggrieved to learn that their own parish priests had been stopped from attending.

Among the many signs at the rally expressing opposition to mandatory vaccination and the Emergency Powers bill, some showed support for a prominent Catholic doctor whose clinic was recently shut down by government officials. Only this week, Dr. Mark Hobart’s clinic was raided by Health Department authorities who confiscated his patient files and removed his appointment book. Dr. Hobart had previously refused to hand over his records to authorities without the consent of his patients.

Mainstream media has reported that Dr. Hobart was writing “fake” vaccine exemptions, without explaining that the government’s guidelines for allowing exemptions are so narrow that it is almost impossible to be granted one. Many doctors have been refusing to write exemptions for fear that they will be targeted by the authorities; several who were supplying exemptions have been stopped from seeing patients and have had their files and computers confiscated.

The Emergency Powers bill will be debated in Victoria’s Upper House on Tuesday, where it is expected to pass narrowly. Organisers of the Rosary procession are gathering again today and joining the secular Freedom protest which is being held worldwide.

The numerous stories of lapsed Catholics returning to the Faith as a result of these Rosary processions, and the great sense of encouragement which many – including non-Catholics – have felt from participating are the rich fruits of a prayerful public witness that, sadly, many liberal prelates seem to find incomprehensible. Something is stirring - and not before time!

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