There’s Hope For The Dominicans

El Greco - "St. Dominic In Prayer"

The Dominicans are my favourite Order. If I had ever felt a vocation, it would have been to become a Dominican.

The Dominicans are closely identified with the Inquisition, and this already makes them very special to my eyes. They are also closely identified with the Rosary, which makes them even dearer to me. When I hear them called domini canes, I can’t but find it a compliment.

It would appear that, after going through a phase of disorientation in the dreadful years following Vatican II, the Dominicans are now reacting in a different way than the Franciscans and the Jesuits and that they are, thankfully, recovering their identity and tradition.

Apart from anecdotical evidence (I mention here a brilliant commenter on another blog, and the author of the also brilliant domine, da mihi hanc aquam blog; a blog which has even made it in the very exclusive list of blogs linked to from this site 😉 ), the video below (taken from the above mentioned blog) seems to show that things are going – at least in the English province – in the right direction.

What striked me in this video were the following elements:

1) not one word on “social justice”, or “social issues”, or the like. Not one. Can’t imagine it’s a coincidence.

2) Not one second in which someone of them appears in anything than their traditional habit.

3) Average age (at least of the people appearing in the video) is rather low; there seem to be no huge difficulty in attracting vocations.

4) Strong accent on prayer and study. Strong accent on intellectual work. No effeminate emotionalism. God bless them.

5) Mission clearly given as the one of helping people to get to heaven, not helping people in their social instances or grievances.

6) At 8:11 a beautiful altar is shown, in the process of being aspersed with incense. The altar is clearly ad orientem. This looks like the beginning of a Tridentine Mass to me. Again, I can’t think this is a coincidence.

I can’t say I liked everything (well the white socks for starters 😉 , but a couple of rather naked, ungainly-looking Novus Ordo altars were not entirely pleasing either), but if this video is – as it must be – representative of the way the English Dominicans want to be perceived and therefore of what – irrespective of the problems they may still have – they want to become, then there is reason to be optimistic about their future.

You can compare with the Jesuits (say: here, here, here, or here) and see the differences for yourself.

Kudos to the English Province of the Dominicans, then, and best wishes to them in their chosen vocation.


Posted on June 12, 2011, in Catholicism, Good Shepherds and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Mundabor, it does’nt surprise me that you’d have been a Dominican. You certainly would have made a very good inquisitor 😉

    Were I living in a saner age, I’d probably become a Jesuit. That order has destroyed itself completely, but I admire its heritage.

  2. Here are some pictures of a Pontifical High Mass in the EF (Dominican Rite) of the Dominicans with the Bishop of Nottingham ( I think, he is a Dominican).

    On the other hand over Wikipedia I found some strange comments by this Bishop on the issue of married priests. This somehow clashes with the fact that he celebrates Holy Mass in the EF. In German speaking countries conservatives views on liturgy always come hand-in-hand with traditional theological views, at least that is my impression. How do you view this Bishop?

    By the way, what you say on the English Province of the Dominicans can’t be said about the German province at all, unfortunately. From my own experience in Cologne, very free treatment of the liturgy even by V II standards, if you know what I mean.

    On a related subject, I got to learn about this traditional Dominican Monastery in France. They are independent of the Dominican Order, apparently due to their traditional view on the Dominican Rite. Here is a link to their website.

    • You are absolutely right, wk1999, and in fact by the Dominicans it is still a very mixed picture. As I have written, though, the video is more indicative of what they want to be in the coming generations, than of the heterodox friars they have with them at the moment.

      I would, like you, say that liturgical conservatives are, in their vats majority, very orthodox, though you can have orthodox people who are not liturgical conservatives.

      Personally, if someone loves the smell of the incense and the lace and the pomp but doesn’t like the theology that goes with it, I tend to smell a rat (say: homosexuality).

  3. One of the orthodox people who are not liturgical conservatives is my Archbishop, Cardinal Meisner from Cologne. Strict views on all issues, as it should be. But indifferent to the EF. It is a pity. At least he allows FSSP in the diocese.

    On the rat issue, I am not sure whether you have heard of the David Berger case. If not, here is a link about him:

    It is disgusting!!

    • Thanks Wk1999, I am glad that in the Berger case the ecclesiastical authority have reacted.

      Once again, it is clear that when people say that the church is “bad”, it is because the Church doesn’t allow them to do as they please.


%d bloggers like this: