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 88100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org