Massgoer in Eucharist incident restrained


A MASSGOER who objected to receiving the Eucharist on his tongue at a Latin Mass in Co Mayo had to be restrained when his protests led to a scuffle in the church. The incident at Knock Shrine was described by the Latin Mass Society of Ireland as "sad" and "disturbing".

It occurred when a man approached the altar of the parish church and insisted he get communion in his hand rather than on the tongue.

Fr Wulfran Lebocq, who was assisting on the altar, quietly told the communicant to take communion on his tongue. This is in accordance with the traditional Latin rite.

According to onlookers, the communicant told the priest: "You're in Ireland now".

Before being restrained, the communicant grabbed a host from the ciborium, and in the process the host fell on the floor.

According to Peadar Laighléis, president of the Latin Mass Society of Ireland, the man had to be escorted into the sacristy to "restrain him from causing another scene in the church".

The man protested that he was being held against his will. He was informed he was free to leave but not to return to the church.

A spokesman for the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, said the archdiocese had been informed of the incident which occurred during the annual pilgrimage of the Latin Mass Society of Ireland to Knock on September 4th.

Describing the incident as "somewhat unfortunate", the spokesman added it had occurred "spontaneously".

He went on to say that Fr Richard Gibbons, a curate in Knock, had spoken to those involved and dealt with the incident at the time.

As far as the archdiocese was concerned the matter had now been dealt with.

The incident occurred during Sung Latin Mass in the old parish church which is sometimes called the Apparition Church as the 1879 visions took place there.