Friday, December 31, 2010

1610: another forgotten Catholic anniversary

This year there were many performances of the Monteverdi Vespers to mark their four hundredth anniversary of publication: I went to Durham cathedral to hear the Monteverdi choir and John Eliot Gardiner perform them. Next year we are promised much coverage of the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.
This year however saw an important anniversary for English Catholics which appears to have gone almost entirely unmarked in this country. ( The Rorate Caeli blog did mention it in June for the actual anniversary). 1610 saw the publication of the Douai-Rheims Bible. The New Testament had been published in 1582. I don`t understand why we haven`t heard anything about it. However at the AGM of the North East Catholic History Society in September Fr Milburn gave a short talk about it and its importance. It is sad to think that the anniversary fell in the year that the closure of Douai`s northern foundation at Ushaw was announced.
Last year it was the 1300th anniversary of the death of St Wilfrid which went almost entirely unnoticed, this year it is the Douai Bible. Does this come from a lack of confidence in our Catholic identity or just an overdose on the Hermeneutic of Rupture?


JR said...

I tried leaving a nice reminder of the DRB-KJV connections on a few of the many KJV anniversary postings/articles, but they were all ignored. I guess I was viewed as a party crasher.

Of some note, the Douay-Rheims Bible would have been issued even sooner had the parties involved had the money.
(source: )

Blessings on the New Year,

Realist said...

"Does this come from a lack of confidence in our Catholic identity or just an overdose on the Hermeneutic of Rupture?"

The answer, Father, is much more simple. They all occurred before 1965 and, therefore, are irrelevant; to be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Actually Father what should really be celebrated is the publication of the "Challoner Bible" for the Bible many traditionalists love was really a new translation for which Challoner deserves the credit. When Challoner "revised" the Douay-Rheims Bible he did not spell out the principles on which he carried out this work, but as Newman showed (see in effect produced a completely new and much superior translation. In fact he compared the Latin vulgate with the then available Hebrew and Greek manuscripts(this is important as moderns sometimes dismiss his version as being a slavish translation using the Vulgate alone), as well as existing English versions - especially the King James Bible, and produced his own, excellent version. Challoner also produced what is still the best translation of the Imitation of Christ. In short, he was a very fine scholar and is one of the unsung heroes of the English Catholic Church.