Sometimes humour gets the point over most effectively – though one needs to take care not to convey the wrong message.

The Dominican priest this morning was paying a small tribute to the founder of his Order, Saint Dominic. He carefully explained how the holy man founded the Order to counter the Albigensian schism in the Church in medieval France.

I know little of the latter but apparently the would-be reformers rejected not just material things but also the Sacraments and the Resurrection.   Unfortunately the organised Church of the time was equally concerned with territory as spirituality and not beyond harsh suppression of secessionists. 

I hasten to add that St Dominic and the pastors of his Order were gentle folk and beyond reproach.  Our gentle pastor of this morning omitted this information from his sermon!    Anyway  ……………

A young man once enquired of a priest as to the differences between several of the Orders within the Catholic Church.

‘For example?’ it was retorted.

‘For example, what’s the difference between the Dominicans and the Jesuits?’

‘Well,’ he was told, ‘The Jesuits were founded to counter the Reformation: the Dominicans to counter the Albigensian schism.’

 ‘No.‘ he insisted.  ‘You need to explain further. I’m still not sure I  know the difference.’

‘Well,’ said the Dominican priest. ‘Tell me this.

What’s the last time you saw an Albigensian?’


I’m not sure that’s the proper yardstick!  But there are a fair few Reformers still around!

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