The decision to cancel the Pope's drive through the crowd of pilgrims at Knock was described by Archbishop Joseph Cunnane of Tuam on Sunday as "a bitter disappointment."
Speaking at Knock Archbishop Cunnane said that the Pope had shown that he appreciated the special care given to the sick there. But it was unfortunate that the timetable had forced those responsible for the Pope's plans to omit the drive through the pilgrims he said.
"That would have meant so much to those who had waited so long and looked forward so hopefully to a close view of the Holy Father.
"It was a bitter disappointment — it hurts me and I believe it hurt the Holy Father. The decision was made, not by me, and not by anyone connected with Knock."
Last week Cardinal flume sent I message of thanks to Cardinal O'Fiaieh for the warm welcome given to visitors and for the "magnificent organisation" of the papal visit. The Irish achievement would have "a profound effect" not only on Catholics in England and Wales hut throughout the Church, he said.