Brave Donegalman, Tim Jackson, is currently carrying out a “hungerstrike” outside of Dáil Éireann. His aim is to pressure the Taoiseach and the Dáil Committee responsable for looking into the 8th Ammendment to look at a video animation of an abortion (made by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino) before they make any decision on changing the legal status quo.
Since Jackson has stated that he does not intend to go to death on his “hungerstrike” (he will fast on water alone “as long as necessary”), Catholics can support his action without scruple.
A few days after refusing the Society of Saint Pius X pilgrimage group, Knock Shrine made a press release clarifying its position. The salient part was as follows:
As the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church, they are not allowed to celebrate Mass publicly at the Shrine or on Shrine grounds. They are most welcome to pray the Rosary, Stations of the Cross and other prayers […]
Despite the claim that the SSPX is “most welcome to pray the Rosary, Stations of the Cross and other prayers”, this is apparently not what was conveyed to the priests and laity on the day, who understood that they were not allowed to perform any public act as a group… Be that as it may, what is certain is that Knock Shrine will not permit the SSPX to celebrate Mass on the site. Why? Because it “has an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church”.
But, does Father Gibbons really care about canonical irregularity? Clearly not. In August 2014, he performed an ecumenical service with the Church of Ireland “Bishop” of Tuam and Athenry in the basilica at Knock. During this ceremony, “Bishop” Rooke was the leader, with Father Gibbons acting as assistant. Furthermore, the same Rooke was a guest speaker at the 2017 Knock Novena…a matter of weeks before the Society of Saint Pius X was refused permission to celebrate Mass there! The Knock website announced his participation in the Novena as follows:
To mark 500 years of the Reformation, Rt Revd Patrick Rooke (Bishop of Tuam, Killala & Achonry Diocese- Church of Ireland) will be welcomed for the ceremonies on Friday 18th…In the context of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Bishop Rooke will speak on ‘Reformation, Remembering and Reconciliation’, which will take a reflective look at relations between the churches and explore paths to reconciliation.
But, “Bishop” Rooke is a prominent representative of the Church of Ireland, which itself is a part of the “Anglican Communion”. As such, the CofI traces its roots to Henry VIII, who, by refusing the authority of the Pope, placed the Church of England outside of the Catholic Church. As a result, the CofI has been in an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church for over five hundred years now! Not only that, but it is officially and permanently determined to remain outside of the canonical structures of the Catholic Church, it refuses the authority of the Pope in principle, and it rejects many other of the infallible Teachings of the Church. To cap it all, Anglican orders were definitively declared invalid by Pope Leo XIII.
On the other hand, the SSPX’s “irregular relationship” was never of its own making, but was imposed by Church authorities largely because it wasn’t going along with the new ecumenical charade which the Church had always previously condemned. Furthermore, the SSPX recognises the authority of the Pope, and is 100% faithful to the Church’s constant Teaching in all matters.
So, Father Gibbons clearly considers some canonical irregularities to be more equal than others. Perhaps he thinks that, like wine, they improve with age!
On the contrary, Pope Pius XI taught us what the attitude of Church authorities should be towards non-Catholic groups, such as the Church of Ireland. In his encyclical Mortalium Animos, he says:
[…] The union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it […] Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is “the root and womb whence the Church of God springs,” not with the intention and the hope that “the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government. Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God our Savior, “Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”, would hear us when We humbly beg that He would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be “careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
While we must deplore and protest the injustice of Father Gibbons’ exclusion of the Society of Saint Pius X and the equally unjust and uncharitable inclusion of heretical Church of Ireland representatives, we must also pray that he will soon return to the Church’s Traditional Teaching on and attitude towards non-Catholics, as repeated by Pope Pius XI.
The Society of Saint Pius X annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Knock in Co. Mayo was disrupted yesterday, Saturday 16th September, when Shrine officials refused entry to priests and laity.
Members of Knock Shrine Security approached the SSPX priests, informing them that they were not permitted to celebrate Mass or carry out any devotions as a group. They confirmed that these were the orders which they had been instructed to convey.
For the first time in over ten years, therefore, the Society was forced to celebrate Mass outside of the Shrine grounds (heretofore, for a number of years, SSPX priests had been granted permission to celebrate Mass in various chapels on the grounds of the Shrine). And, for the first time in the entire history of the SSPX’s presence in Ireland, the pilgrimage group was not even permitted to recite the Rosary or pray the Stations of the Cross within the Shrine precincts!
As a result, Mass was celebrated in the car-park of an obliging local café, and the Rosary was prayed on the Main Street which runs adjacent to the Shrine. Security was posted at the gates during the rosary procession, ensuring that the group did not enter the Shrine grounds at any time.
Just like there was no place in the inn for Christ in Bethlehem, so there was no place for those faithful to the Tradition of the Church at Knock this past Saturday. The Knock Shrine authorities should be ashamed of themselves! Rector, Fr. Richard Gibbons, had no problem allowing an “ecumenical service” last January in the Saint John’s Rest and Care Centre at the Shrine. Neither did he have any problem with the assistance of “Reverend Canon” Derek Swann of the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian “Reverend” Molly Deatherage and a Muslim representative, Manar Cherbatji, at a 2014 Peace Mass at Knock. He even had his photograph taken with them on the occasion:
Also in 2014, Father Gibbons was content to conduct a joint ecumenical service in the Knock Shrine Basilica with the Church of Ireland “Bishop” of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, “Dr.” Patrick Cooke in August of that year to celebrate the 190 years of the Royal National Lifeboat Association. On this occasion, as the Irish Catholic reported, Father Gibbons went the extra mile … “Dr.” Cooke led the celebration, while Father Gibbons was his assistant!
Conclusion? Father Gibbons cordially invites Anglicans, Presbyterians and Muslims, who do not accept the Church’s infallible teachings on the Blessed Virgin Mary, to participate in, and even lead services on the site where Our Lady appeared. But, he does not allow the Society of Saint Pius X and those faithful who assist at their Masses to even say the Rosary as a group on the same site, despite their obvious love for the Mother of God. Shame on him!
To contact Father Gibbons to protest against this injustice, call: (094) 93 88100or email: email@example.com