Ireland’s Holiest Shrine to Host Pro-Abort President

News: World News
by Jules Gomes  •  •  April 13, 2023   

Knock Sanctuary shuts down Facebook comments after Catholic outrage

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KNOCK, Ireland ( - Ireland's holiest sanctuary is blocking Facebook comments from faithful Catholics protesting Friday's visit of pro-abortion and pro-LGBT President Joe Biden to Knock Shrine. 

Fr. Richard Gibbons, rector of Knock Shrine

"We are delighted to welcome President Joe Biden to Knock Shrine. This is a huge honor and will be the first visit of a U.S. President to Knock Shrine," Fr. Richard Gibbons, rector of the pilgrim center announced on the sanctuary's website on Tuesday. 

Father Gibbons said the shrine was canceling all Masses and confessions from 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, and all offices at the sanctuary would remain closed until Saturday, April 15. To facilitate Biden's "private visit," the shrine would also shut all access to the faithful. 

The rector, who outraged traditionalist Catholics after he banned communion on the tongue during the COVID-19 crisis, added that Biden wanted to stop at Knock and "say a private prayer" because of his "commitment to his faith."

Knock Shrine's website said that Biden is coming to Ireland to mark 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement and will visit his ancestral homes in Counties Louth and Mayo following his public engagements in Belfast, Dublin and Louth. 

The people of Knock should protest the visit.

"We are delighted to have been included as part of the president's personal visits to Mayo," Fr. Gibbons reiterated. "The shrine is a special and unique place on the island of Ireland. We have previously been honored by the visit of St. John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Francis in 2018."

Knock is located within the archdiocese of Tuam and headed by pro-LGBT Abp. Francis Duffy, who has remained silent on the president's visit. 


Duffy sparked controversy in 2015 when, as bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, he publicly rebuked Fr. Joseph Okere for labeling the same-sex marriage referendum as the work of the devil in Irish society.  

Biden will finish his visit with a speech at St. Muredach's Cathedral in the diocese of Killala, led by Bp. John Fleming. St. Muredach's Cathedral suspended all sacraments for Catholics this week in view of the president's visit.

Joe Biden is an evil man.

Fleming has been known to downplay Catholic teaching on abortion. In 2005, Fleming defended the policy of CURA — a Catholic crisis pregnancy agency — giving women the phone numbers of agencies that provide contact details of U.K. abortion clinics.

The bishop justified the policy on the grounds that the more a woman discussed her options, the less likely it was she would opt for an abortion.

Sunset at Knock Shrine

He also quoted Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger, who, he falsely claimed, had said that a Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion candidate in the U.S. presidential election so long as they were not voting for the candidate because of his or her pro-abortion position.
At a White House press briefing, national security council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said that Biden's great-great-great-grandfather, Edward Blewitt, sold 27,000 bricks to the cathedral in 1827.

"Those bricks were used to construct and support the great cathedral and help Edward afford to buy tickets for himself and for his family to sail to America decades later in 1851," Kirby added. 

Meanwhile, Knock Shrine turned off comments on its Facebook post announcing Biden's visit after it was inundated with negative feedback from outraged Catholics. 

"Joe Biden is an evil man. He promotes abortion and has voted for abortion his entire life. He has no place in Knock when he supports killing unborn children," one commenter said. 

Another posted, "Biden should go to confession when he's there and confess his support and voting allegiance with pro-abortion advocates his entire political life."

We are delighted to welcome President Joe Biden to Knock Shrine. 

"The people of Knock should protest the visit, and the authorities of Knock Shrine should tell Joe Biden that he is not welcome over his support on abortion," a third commenter wrote.

Traditionalist Irish blog Catholic Arena blasted Biden as a "warmonger and pro-abortion extremist" who has "publicly defied Church teachings on just war and life issues for decades."

"In the 2000s, Biden was instrumental in ensuring Democratic support for the illegal invasion of Iraq, which led to over 80% of the country's Christian population being expelled or murdered," the blog noted. 

"Most recently, his administration banned Catholic priests from ministering at Walter Reed Military Hospital. Biden's administration actually chose Holy Week to do this," it added. 

A 2021 report sent to all American bishops noted that the current administration had violated fundamental Catholic moral teaching at least 32 times since Biden's inauguration as president.

After Biden was nominated as the vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election, Bp. Joseph Francis Martino of Scranton, Pennsylvania, said he would refuse Biden Communion due to his support for abortion.

However, during a 90-minute meeting at the Vatican in Oct. 2021, Biden told the media that Pope Francis had affirmed him as a "good Catholic" who should continue to receive Communion.

"We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic, and I should keep receiving Communion," Biden said. The Vatican did not deny the president's comments. 

Father Gibbons did not respond to Church Militant's request for comment.

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