Lumen Fidei Campaign to End Liturgical Abuses In Knock

Please Write to:

Archbishop Michael Neary

Archbishops House


Co Galway


Telephone: 093-24166

Link to Campaign Poster

Campaign Poster

Link to Sample Campaign Letter

Sample Letter to Archbishop Michael Neary

Campaign Background

Faithful Catholics have often to contend with serious Liturgical Abuses in Ireland. One example of this concerns the annual Novena in Knock.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal number 66 states.

The Homily should ordinarily be given by the Priest Celebrant himself or be entrusted by him to a concelebrating Priest, or from time to time and, if appropriate, to the Deacon, but never to a lay person.”

Yet every year, at the annual Novena in Knock, this year being no exception, this rule is flagrantly disregarded. This year one homily will be given by an RTE sports presenter and another will be given by a protestant. There are three other lay people giving homilies as well. Last year Ruth Patterson gave one of the homilies. Ruth Patterson falsely believes that she has been ordained and she goes under the title 'Reverend', which title was used in the promotional material for the novena. Is it the case that those who are in charge of the annual Novena in Knock now recognise protestant women's orders as valid? The Catholic Church does not recognise protestant orders as being valid! What is going on in Knock is false ecumenism which denies the truth and gives credibility to protestant women who claim to have been ordained.

I will be accused by some of being uncharitable because I dare to say such things. Yet in reality who is being uncharitable? The one who allows a person to continue in their delusion and error, or the one who seeks to correct that error and to warn others of the danger? Again, who is being uncharitable? The one who insists on celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to his own personal tastes, or the one who draws attention to Church teaching on this matter and shows up the errors of those in charge?

Many Catholics have forgotten that 'instructing the ignorant' is one of the spiritual works of mercy. Catholics are being led into error and into a false understanding of what the Catholic Church is and of what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, by what is happening at the annual Novena in Knock.

Cardinal Sarah, in his recent book 'The Power of Silence' helps us to understand just what is happening in Knock. He says “Some priests unfaithful to the 'memory' of Jesus insist more on the festive aspect and the fraternal dimension of the Mass than on the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross”

Cardinal Sarah, who happens to be the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, had this to say about the homily at Holy Mass.

A homily is not a summary of theological knowledge or of exegetical interpretations. Priests, who are marked with the priestly character, are thereby in a way the mysterious instruments of the Word of God. The homily is therefore strictly reserved to men who have been invested with the sacred order of priests and deacons; it cannot be delegated to laypersons, not even to the most competent” (Cardinal Sarah – The Power of Silence p.128)

When we see these and other abuses being facilitated and going unopposed or even supported by those into whose charge such matters have been entrusted, then of course those of us, who realise that these are indeed serious abuses, will be made to feel alone. People who decide to complain will be told 'you are the only one who has complained' or ' nobody else seems to have a problem with this or that'. These are tactics designed, whether consciously or not, to isolate the one complaining. No regard is given as to whether or not the substance of the complaint is true. We do not need reminding of how parents who complained about the abuse of their children were treated in this country in the not so distant past.

It seems that the odds are stacked against the faithful Catholics. We are treated with contempt, as complainers, as cranks, as being too rigid, when all we desire is to uphold the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church as they have been handed down from age to age and to make sure that our dearly beloved children are properly taught the Catholic faith of their baptism. At times it can seem that we are vastly outnumbered and this can lead to discouragement. But we must have hope.

The Vatican instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum states.

“Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum 184)

We, as Catholics, have both a right and a duty to seek to correct the Liturgical Abuses at the annual Novena in Knock whereby lay persons, and sometimes protestants, deliver the homily at Mass during the Novena. We urge you to write to Archbishop Michael Neary, respectfully asking him to correct this abuse. Please quote number 66 of the G.I.R.M. above. Please only write about this one issue, the preaching of homilies by the non ordained.