Police in Spain on Thursday shielded Pope Benedict XVI from a planned gay kiss-in protest.

A similar protest last November during the pontiff's last visit to the Roman Catholic stronghold included roughly 200 gay men, lesbians and allies embracing as the Holy Father was being driven to celebrate mass at Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) basilica. The protesters, however, were drowned out by thousands of cheering, flag-waving supporters of the pontiff.

Police in Madrid went on the offensive during his latest visit, blocking protesters from reaching the Pope as he traveled in his Popemobile to a welcoming ceremony in Plaza Cibeles square, where more than 100,000 people greeted him.

A cordon of police blocked the protesters and forced them to disperse about an hour before the Pope's arrival. According to the AFP, two men managed to evade police and kiss in front of cameras as the Pope passed by.

“We are here to be seen, now that the city is full,” activist Laura Botella, 29, told the news agency. “It is an act to assert the rights of homosexuals which are threatened by the Pope.”

The Pope has previous criticized Spain's 2005 law legalizing gay marriage.

Last year, he said the institution leads to confusion of society's values.