Authorities stopped them celebrating Mass on Shrine property as they are in an 'irregular canonical relationship' with the Church

The Society of St Pius X was informed it could not celebrate Mass at the Knock Shrine in Ireland last Saturday as it is in an “irregular canonical relationship” with the Church.

In a statement, the Shrine said security were alerted on Saturday morning to members of the SSPX setting up marquees in the North car park to celebrate Mass without permission. They were told they could not do so.

“As the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church, they are not allowed to celebrate Mass publicly at the Shrine or on Shrine grounds,” the Shrine said, adding: “They are most welcome to pray the Rosary, Stations of the Cross and other prayers.”

While the SSPX is welcome to pray, Shrine authorities ask they refrain from saying Mass.

“It is up to the SSPX to resolve any canonical and doctrinal issues with the Holy See,” the Shrine added.

The Society said that an elderly man eventually offered them the use of his driveway for the celebration of Mass.

The Knock Shrine commemorates apparitions of the Virgin Mary, St Joseph, St John the Evangelist and Jesus as the Lamb of God to a group of local Catholics in 1879.