Being Dominican
Preachers Resources
Justice and Peace
Faith and Film
Groups and Organizations
Latin America

Free Update

Can't open PDF format files? Click on the link to download the latest Adobe Reader. It is safe and secure and free. Really.
Dominican Life | USA
| Sisters | Associates| Friars | Laity | Nuns | Link to Groups| DLC
| World OP
free email update
Coming Events

Church and Ministry : A Response to Dutch Dominicans

SANTA SABINA (IDI) November 19, 2007--- Recent news services report that Dominicans in the Netherlands have published a document recommending that lay ministers chosen by their congregations should be allowed to celebrate the Eucharist if no ordained priests are available. Distributed to all the parishes of the country, the document calls on the Church to " drop its priest-centred model of the Mass in favour of one built around a community sharing bread and wine in prayer." Bro Edward Ruane OP, (St. Albert) Vicar to the Master of the Order, has issued a response to this document. (below)

Church and Ministry: Publication of the booklet by our Dutch Dominican Brothers

As we know from the Acts of the Apostles, the question of ministry in the Christian Community has been a challenge from biblical days when the early Church instituted the Order of Deacon. Still in our own day, the question of adequate ministry to God’s People continues to be a question to which the Church responds in diverse ways in different parts of the world.

The Eastern Church has always had both a married clergy alongside a celibate clergy. In the Western Church there has been a lengthy tradition of only celibate priests. Church authority has reaffirmed this tradition on several different occasions. Nevertheless, this tradition continues to be questioned by some, especially when this tradition apparently prevents the wider celebration of the Eucharist, which is essential to the life of the Christian Community. Nevertheless, in both the Eastern and Western Churches ordination is essential.

The shortage of vocations to the Ordained Priesthood is pressing, particularly in some parts of the world. It is right for the Church Community to be concerned about this shortage. Our Dutch Dominican brothers share this grave concern and desire to dialogue about it. Perhaps they feel that Church authority has not adequately dealt with this question and, therefore, they are pressing for a more open dialogue.

The booklet published by our Dutch brothers was a surprise to the General Curia of the Dominican Order. While we laud the concern of our brothers, we do not believe that the method they have used in disseminating this booklet, nor the solutions that they have proposed are beneficial to the Church nor in harmony with its tradition. While we share their concern about the availability of the Eucharist and priestly ministry, we believe this concern must be responded to in careful theological and pastoral reflection with the wider Church and Dominican Order.

Bro Edward Ruane OP
Vicar to the Master of the Order

Related information:

The number of friars in the Netherlands have decreased along with those of other clergy, and now number 90 men. Since 2000 around 200 parishes in the Netherlands have been closed due to the lack of priests and the fall in church attendance.

Ed Ruane
Ed Ruane, OP (St. Albert) Vicar to the Master of the Order

subscribe to and receive a free email update every two weeks. unsubscribe