Announcing Biden’s visit to Knock, rector of the shrine Fr. Richard Gibbons noted that sacraments will be suspended in the parish 24 hours before the president’s arrival. No sacraments have been available in St. Muredach’s Cathedral this week as preparations are made for the U.S. leader’s speech on a road in front of the west Ireland church.
“We are delighted to welcome President Joe Biden to Knock Shrine. This is a huge honour and will be the first visit of a US President to Knock Shrine,” Fr. Gibbons said. “We are delighted to have been included as part of the President’s personal visits to Mayo.”
Knock Shrine’s Fr. Gibbons did not respond to LifeSiteNews questions about whether his description of the visit as a “huge honour” does a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of unborn babies killed every year as a result of President Biden’s support for abortion, or whether clergy suspending public access to the sacraments can be surprised when laity similarly relegate the sacraments in their list of priorities.
Neither Archbishop Francis Duffy, whose Archdiocese of Tuam incorporates Knock, or Bishop John Fleming, whose diocesan cathedral will welcome Biden before his speech in Ballina, responded to similar questions from LifeSiteNews at the time of publication.
Speaking anonymously to LifeSiteNews, one priest from County Mayo said that “welcoming a President whose policies are at odds with Catholic teaching to a Catholic Cathedral, at the end of a week where the parishioners are forbidden to access their church while a stage is erected for a speech to be delivered, is yet a further blow to the credibility of the leadership of these shepherds. It shows how complicit the clergy are in [the] moral and doctrinal confusion which abounds today.”
Robert Nugent, who attends St. Muredach’s, told his audience on YouTube that an adjoining Adoration chapel was also closed this week, with the Blessed Sacrament moved to a smaller church on the other side of Ballina where the sacraments are being offered.
Noting that President Biden will be facing the town’s Freemason hall when he speaks outside the cathedral, Nugent explained that Christ had been “kicked out of the Adoration chapel for this week” and that the event was all about Biden’s reelection.
“You need to get the ‘Paddy’ vote, don’t you, over in America … so they need to invent some way to rehabilitate him over here,” Nugent said.
The Catholic Association in Ireland meanwhile told LifeSiteNews that the President’s visit to Knock starkly contrasts with that of St. Mother Teresa in 1993.
“She warned us then that abortion was the greatest threat to peace in the world. If a mother could kill her own baby then any evil is possible,” Brian Flanagan, chairman of the Catholic Association, recounted. “President Joe Biden has conversely been to the fore in removing legal protection for the unborn child. So while Mother Teresa’s visit to Knock was a blessing, we hope Mr Biden might be called to repentance when he is welcomed there on Friday.”
This February, Biden declared, “Congress must restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose” abortion, as LifeSiteNews reported. So dedicated to promoting abortion is Biden that his administration is promulgating rules and legal guidance allowing for abortion pills to be dispensed via the mail.
In December, Biden signed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), which federally recognizes same-sex “marriage” and forces every state to recognize any same-sex “marriage” of any other state.