Dominicans Now And Then

Drunken Homo? Unwashed beggar? Or the former Master of the Dominicans?

Rorate Caeli has an interesting compilation of sayings of Dominicans of all ages.

You might notice, how should I say it, a certain discrepancy between the traditional lines of Dominican preaching and a more, erm, progressive attitude present in the modern days.

Like the Church in France (I have written about it today) the Dominicans are apparently marching toward extinction; and like the Church in France, they appear to have a nucleus of duri e puri intentioned to do things properly and ensuring the survival of their organisation.

By the grace of God, Radcliffe is not the Master anymore. Still, he appears to be in good standing, continuing to give scandal wherever he goes.

I think it is important the Dominicans free themselves from the cancer represented by Radcliffe and those like him. If you want your renewal to be credible, you must show it by enforcing inside that orthodoxy you want to be made credible outside.

The Dominicans are certainly in better shape than, say, Franciscans or Jesuits, for which – particularly for the second – the disease seems now so advanced, and the desire to heal so absent, that one can only hope when they have died the memory of their last half century is erased as fast as possible, and only the glories of the past remembered.

Still, it seems to me they have a lot of work to do.


Posted on March 11, 2012, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Agreed, Fr Radcliffe has long been a disgrace to the order. But there are promising signs of a return to grace from other parts of the UK.

  2. Mundabor,

    I rarely disagree with you, but here I do somehow. I have personally met several young Dominican priests (one of them Father Leon Pereira, who originates from Singapore) who are rather conservative in their attitude and who even celebrate mass in the extraordinary form following the traditional Dominican Rite. Father Pereira is based in Leicester where the Dominicans serve the Holy Cross Church.

    You will see that they celebrate almost daily a mass in the extraordinary form. To me this is a sign of hope. Not all is doom and gloom with the Dominicans.

    • I know, wk1999. It’s not all doom and gloom by them.

      I have, I think, written as much.

      One of the very few blogs you see in my blogroll is written, in fact, by a Dominican.


  3. My experience has been a bit different — though I tend to move in admittedly small philosophically-oriented circles. It seems to me that there’s still quite a few orthodox Dominicans out there — and Franciscans for that matter. They’re not in as good a shape as the Benedictines seem to be at present, but nowhere near where the Jesuits are. And yet, as has becomes a commonplace among that order, the Benedictines have gone through more declines and reforms than any other order. Perhaps the Benedictine’s history gives us reasons for hope for these other orders, even for the Jesuits.

    • I wonder, though, whether the Benedictine of the past ever reached the point where the average age was 74, which basically promises quasi-annihilation in around a decade.

      As to the Dominicans, they have made a great damage to themselves, and have tolerated for too long the pollution of heresy. What, I think, helped them is that they still woke up before it was too late, so that the damage is being now gradually absorbed. Which doesn’t mean, of course, they are all bad, simply that there are still too many of the bad apples among them.

      As to the Jesuits, my idea is that they do not even want to live, because the decision to live means to take back all that they have been in the last fifty years and this would require an effort of self criticism of, say, Chinese work camp proportions. Therefore, they have decided the order will die with them, so they don’t have to admit they are morons.

      I can’t imagine this a problem for most of them – I wonder whether more than a handful of them believes in God – and certainly it is not a problem for me. At some point, an order has forfeited his right to live and deserves to die.

      Panta rei, as they say. Good riddance, as I say.


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