Overhaul of Knock basilica next on agenda after novena
WELL over 130,000 people will have made the pilgrimage to Knock by the time the town's nine-day novena ends on Friday.
Parish priest Fr Richard Gibbons said that they are delighted with the huge crowds who attended service, including 5,000 who prayed at a Mass led by Bishop Kevin Doran in the Knock Basilica yesterday.
Fr Bishop said that as soon as the novena finishes his attention will turn to a new programme of evangelisation and the overhaul of the basilica which will be announced in October.
Bishop Doran's message yesterday in Knock and at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo which he also attended was that Irish society needs to be more tolerant.
In particular he said that in recent years our economic difficulties had brought real suffering to many and, with that suffering, there had also been resentment.
Using a musical image, he said "there often seems to be a lack of harmony in our society. Instead of all the instruments working together, the different sectors seem to be in competition and sometimes in conflict."
Bishop Doran called on the Government to introduce "a more humane system" for a asylum seekers, describing the current one as "dehumanising".
The Bishop, who was installed less than a month ago, said it was "not reasonable" that the asylum application process "should go on for years".
In a stinging rebuke to the government and Irish society, he described this existence as "a half-life" and admonished that it would "suck the music out of the soul of any human being."