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Knock and it Shall NOT be Opened to You! – SSPX Pilgrimage Group Refused Entry to Knock Shrine.

Published / by Administrator / 27 Comments on Knock and it Shall NOT be Opened to You! – SSPX Pilgrimage Group Refused Entry to Knock Shrine.

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:

Knock Rector, Father Richard Gibbons, centre of photograph, sandwiched between his Bishop and the “Reverend” Molly after the “Peace” Mass, 2014.

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: frgibbons@knock-shrine.ie


  1. Don’t worry. The really Catholic Church didn’t keep the SSPX out. The real Catholic Church IS the SSPX and the others in the remnant. Many are called, few are chosen, Pope Benedict reminded us all. How right he was.

  2. Good, then I know the SSPX is back in the right place, on the side it was always intended to be on, the side of God.


    The Holy Mass that cannot die
    Was said amidst the oaks
    While pin-oak leaves came floating down
    Around the simple folks

    Who knelt upon the acorn floor
    All dotted nutty brown
    The acorns cracked and old knees snapped
    Yet still there was no sound…

    But the tinkling of the golden bells
    As the White Host Son rose high
    On priestly limbs like mighty oaks
    They branched up to the sky

    And in that wood I laughed with joy
    Amongst the souls bowed down
    For the mighty oak was once a nut
    That merely held its ground.

    So Christian souls like acorn nuts
    Must burrow all around
    And be the seed that sprouts new oaks
    On consecrated ground…

    Where the Holy Mass, that cannot die
    Is said around the oaks
    While pin-oak leaves come floating down
    Amidst the mighty folks!

  4. It almost makes me ashamed of being Irish & a RC at that. May God forgive ye for ye know not what ye do…or do you?

  5. I am saddened by your hard hearted exclusion of the pilgrims from the SSPX at the Knock sanctuary.
    Yet you pride yourself on your ecumenical dealings.
    I suspect Our Lady of Knock will be displeased with you Father.

    1. The same reply I got to my e-mail only personalized.
      What I find incredible in this and other situations is the openness to non-Catholics- e.g. the woman minister next to the bishop and to non-Christians, the Moslems, for example.
      It shows Just how afflicted the Church is today with untruth and unfaithfulness.

    2. Very lame excuse. Now claiming the Society was allowed to say the Rosary. Hatred of the real Mass was behind that.

    3. Yes, extraordinary double-standards! If you’re in an irregular canonical status, you’re not welcome. But, if you’re an Anglican without any canonical status, you’re most welcome!

    1. While Pope Francis is undeniably wreaking havoc in the Church, ironically if Father Gibbons was following him on this one, the SSPX probably would have been let in!

    2. Nooooo…. Si fuera por Francisco, si de él mismo dependiera de que “entren” no habría problema, y esto no hubiese sido noticia. Lo que les prohibe la entrada es algo mas grande que el papa, que una persona. Es un espíritu, una actitud en las personas. Una actitud que excede al clero y se extiende al laico. Es por eso que se le puede abrir la puerta a cualquiera menos a la tradición. Vino el Señor y no lo recibieron. Vendra el “otro” y a ese recibiran.

  6. Another disgraceful priest to add to the many cowardly priests all over Ireland. When my homeland voted in same sex marriage as the law of the land surely God has withdrawn graces from a once faithful Catholic people.

  7. The SSPX may be the “unblemished lamb” that is required for a suitable holocaust to help bring Holy Mother Church back to her senses. This is nothing new if you look at history and shouldn’t surprise us to much


  9. Unbelievable. Born in the UK in 67, I obviously only know the NO mass. But there’s clearly something radically wrong with our Holy Church when this happens. A sign of the times perhaps, but I almost feel that something big is going to happen soon, we live in hope. Come soon Lord
    Viva Cristo Rey!

    1. I share your sentiments about something big about to happen. It’s hard to see God standing for the status quo across the board much longer. By the way, it’s never too late to discover the Traditional Mass, Peter! Many people much younger than yourself have done so! Don’t know what part of the UK you’re in, but here’s a link to the details of SSPX chapels over there: http://fsspx.uk/en/community/priories

  10. This is a reminder of penal times in Ireland, only this time the persecutors aren’t British but fellow Irishmen!!!

  11. So sorry to hear this. Pray that Our Lady of Knock and Her Lamb will soon conquer and re- establish the True Mass that can never be destroyed. Sympathy to SSPX priests and faithful who had to suffer this insult. God bless. Prayers.