Transubstantiation (Latin: transsubstantiatio; Greek: μετουσίωσις metousiosis) is, according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the change of substance or essence by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that in the Eucharistic offering bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. The reaffirmation of this doctrine was expressed, using the word "transubstantiate", by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215. It was later challenged by various 14th-century reformers, John Wycliffe in particular.
The manner in which the change occurs, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, is a mystery: "The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ.":1333 The precise terminology to be used to refer to the nature of the Eucharist and its theological implications has a contentious history, especially in the Protestant Reformation.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, the doctrine has been discussed under the term of metousiosis, coined as a direct loan-translation of transsubstantiatio in the 17th century. In Eastern Orthodoxy in general, the Sacred Mystery (Sacrament) of the Eucharist is more commonly discussed using alternative terms such as "trans-elementation" (μεταστοιχείωσις, metastoicheiosis), "re-ordination" (μεταρρύθμισις, metarrhythmisis), or simply "change" (μεταβολή, metabole).
The belief that the bread and wine that form the matter of the Eucharist become the body and blood of Christ appears to have been widespread from an early date, with early Christian writers referring to them as his body and the blood. They speak of them as the same flesh and blood which suffered and died on the cross.
The short document known as the Teaching of the Apostles or Didache, which may be the earliest Christian document outside of the New Testament to speak of the Eucharist, says, "Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, 'Give not that which is holy to the dogs'."
A letter by Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written in about AD 106 says: "I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life."
Writing to the Christians of Smyrna in the same year, he warned them to "stand aloof from such heretics", because, among other reasons, "they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again."
In about 150, Justin Martyr, referring to the Eucharist, wrote: "Not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh."
In about AD 200, Tertullian wrote: "Having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, This is my body, that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us."
The Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 380) says: "Let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup; and when he gives it, say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen."
Ambrose of Milan (died 397) wrote:
Perhaps you will say, "I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?" ... Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed. ... For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have power to change the nature of the elements? ... Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which was crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body. The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: "This Is My Body." Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.
Other fourth-century Christian writers say that in the Eucharist there occurs a "change", "transelementation", "transformation", "transposing", "alteration" of the bread into the body of Christ.
In AD 400, Augustine quotes Cyprian (AD 200): "For as Christ says 'I am the true vine,' it follows that the blood of Christ is wine, not water; and the cup cannot appear to contain His blood by which we are redeemed and quickened, if the wine be absent; for by the wine is the blood of Christ typified, ..."
Roman Catholic historian and journalist Garry Wills, who is opposed to many Catholic teachings, believes on the contrary that during the patristic period the Eucharist ("Thanksgiving") was simply a celebration of the people's oneness at the "one altar", suggesting that such a meaning of the "body of Christ" would "persist as late as the fourth and fifth centuries, in Augustine's denial of the real presence of Jesus in the elements of the meal." Wills says that for Augustine "that what is changed in the Mass is not the bread given out but the believers receiving it", in support of which he cites Augustine's Sermon 227 in a translation that has him say: "What you see passes away, but what is invisibly symbolized does not pass away. It perdures. The visible is received, eaten, and digested. But can the body of Christ be digested? Can the church of Christ be digested? Can Christ's limbs be digested? Of course not." The passage concerns not the physical body of Christ, but what has been called the mystical body of Christ, the body of Christ that is the Church. However, Wills uses an inaccurate translation. Augustine asks: "Is (the original Latin text has no verb corresponding to "can" at this point) the body of Christ consumed? (in the original Latin, consumitur, not "digested".) Is the Church of Christ consumed? Are the members (in the original Latin membra, not "limbs") of Christ consumed?" Wills further claims that Augustine's "thought does not linger on the real presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements, but passes straight to the ultimate meaning of the eucharist, the ultimate grace signified by Christ's body and blood in the sacrament, namely the unity of the body of Christ which is the Church, and our living incorporation into it. He doesn't deny the real presence, as was later thought by, for example, some of the Protestant reformers. But he knows that it is only, so to say, the middle stage of the sacrament, what Saint Thomas Aquinas calls the res et sacramentum, the thing signified by the visible celebration, which is itself also the sacrament, that is the sign, of a further thing. It is this further thing, what Saint Thomas calls the res tantum, the ultimate thing or grace signified, that always interests Augustine. And the grace of the eucharist is the unity of the body of Christ and our participation in it. The real presence of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine has the same place in this sacrament as the baptismal character has in baptism: a kind of half-way stage, or middle level, in the sacramental mystery of grace."
The doctrine of transubstantiation is the result of a theological dispute started in the 11th century, when Berengar of Tours denied that any material change in the elements was needed to explain the Eucharistic Presence, thereby provoking a considerable stir. Berengar's position was never diametrically opposed to that of his critics, and he was probably never excommunicated, but the controversies that he aroused (see Stercoranism) forced people to clarify the doctrine of the Eucharist. The earliest known use of the term "transubstantiation" to describe the change from bread and wine to body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist was by Hildebert de Lavardin, Archbishop of Tours, in the 11th century. By the end of the 12th century the term was in widespread use.
The Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215 spoke of the bread and wine as "transubstantiated" into the body and blood of Christ: "His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been transubstantiated, by God's power, into his body and blood". It was only later in the 13th century that Aristotelian metaphysics was accepted and a philosophical elaboration in line with that metaphysics was developed, which found classic formulation in the teaching of Thomas Aquinas" and in the theories of later Catholic theologians in the medieval period (the Augustinian Giles of Rome and the Franciscans Duns Scotus and William of Ockham) and beyond
During the Protestant Reformation, the doctrine of transubstantiation was heavily criticised as an Aristotelian "pseudophilosophy" imported into Christian teaching and jettisoned in favor of Martin Luther's doctrine of sacramental union, or in favor, per Huldrych Zwingli, of the Eucharist as memorial.
In the Protestant Reformation, the doctrine of transubstantiation became a matter of much controversy. Martin Luther held that "It is not the doctrine of transubstantiation which is to be believed, but simply that Christ really is present at the Eucharist". In his "On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church" (published on 6 October 1520) Luther wrote:
Therefore, it is an absurd and unheard-of juggling with words, to understand "bread" to mean "the form, or accidents of bread", and "wine" to mean "the form, or accidents of wine". Why do they not also understand all other things to mean their forms, or accidents? Even if this might be done with all other things, it would yet not be right thus to emasculate the words of God and arbitrarily to empty them of their meaning.
Moreover, the Church had the true faith for more than twelve hundred years, during which time the holy Fathers never once mentioned this transubstantiation – certainly, a monstrous word for a monstrous idea – until the pseudo-philosophy of Aristotle became rampant in the Church these last three hundred years. During these centuries many other things have been wrongly defined, for example, that the Divine essence neither is begotten nor begets, that the soul is the substantial form of the human body, and the like assertions, which are made without reason or sense, as the Cardinal of Cambray himself admits.
In his 1528 Confession Concerning Christ's Supper he wrote:
Why then should we not much more say in the Supper, "This is my body", even though bread and body are two distinct substances, and the word "this" indicates the bread? Here, too, out of two kinds of objects a union has taken place, which I shall call a "sacramental union", because Christ's body and the bread are given to us as a sacrament. This is not a natural or personal union, as is the case with God and Christ. It is also perhaps a different union from that which the dove has with the Holy Spirit, and the flame with the angel, but it is also assuredly a sacramental union.
What Luther thus called a "sacramental union" is often erroneously called consubstantiation by non-Lutherans. In "On the Babylonian Captivity", Luther upheld belief in the Real Presence of Jesus and, in his 1523 treatise The Adoration of the Sacrament, defended adoration of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.
Huldrych Zwingli taught that the sacrament is purely symbolic and memorial in character, arguing that this was the meaning of Jesus' instruction: "Do this in remembrance of me."
King Henry VIII of England, though breaking with the Pope, kept many essentials of Catholic doctrine, including transubstantiation. This was enshrined in the Six Articles of 1539, and the death penalty specifically prescribed for any who denied transubstantiation.
This was changed under Elizabeth I. In the 39 articles of 1563, the Church of England declared: "Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions". and made Mass illegal.
For a century and half – 1672 to 1828 – transubstantiation had an important role, in a negative way, in British political and social life. Under the Test Act, the holding of any public office was made conditional upon explicitly adjuring Transubstantiation. Any aspirant to public office had to repeat the formula set out by the law: "I, N, do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever."
In 1551, the Council of Trent confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation as Catholic dogma, stating that "by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation." In its 13th session ending 11 October 1551, the Council defined transubstantiation as "that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood – the species only of the bread and wine remaining – which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation". This council officially approved use of the term "transubstantiation" to express the Catholic Church's teaching on the subject of the conversion of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, with the aim of safeguarding Christ's presence as a literal truth, while emphasizing the fact that there is no change in the empirical appearances of the bread and wine. It did not however impose the Aristotelian theory of substance and accidents: it spoke only of the species (the appearances), not the philosophical term "accidents", and the word "substance" was in ecclesiastical use for many centuries before Aristotelian philosophy was adopted in the West, as shown for instance by its use in the Nicene Creed which speaks of Christ having the same "οὐσία" (Greek) or "substantia" (Latin) as the Father.
While the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in relation to the Eucharist can be viewed in terms of the Aristotelian distinction between substance and accident, Catholic theologians generally hold that, "in referring to the Eucharist, the Church does not use the terms substance and accident in their philosophical contexts but in the common and ordinary sense in which they were first used many centuries ago. The dogma of transubstantiation does not embrace any philosophical theory in particular." This ambiguity is recognized also by a Lutheran theologian such as Jaroslav Pelikan, who, while himself interpreting the terms as Aristotelian, states that "the application of the term 'substance' to the discussion of the Eucharistic presence antedates the rediscovery of Aristotle. [...] Even 'transubstantiation' was used during the twelfth century in a nontechnical sense. Such evidence lends credence to the argument that the doctrine of transubstantiation, as codified by the decrees of the Fourth Lateran and Tridentine councils, did not canonize Aristotelian philosophy as indispensable to Christian doctrine. But whether it did so or not in principle, it has certainly done so in effect".
The view that the distinction is independent of any philosophical theory has been expressed as follows: "The distinction between substance and accidents is real, not just imaginary. In the case of the person, the distinction between the person and his or her accidental features is after all real. Therefore, even though the notion of substance and accidents originated from Aristotelian philosophy, the distinction between substance and accidents is also independent of philosophical and scientific development." "Substance" here means what something is in itself: A hat's shape is not the hat itself, nor is its colour, size, softness to the touch, nor anything else about it perceptible to the senses. The hat itself (the "substance") has the shape, the color, the size, the softness and the other appearances, but is distinct from them. While the appearances are perceptible to the senses, the substance is not.
The philosophical term "accidents" does not appear in the teaching of the Council of Trent on transubstantiation, which is repeated in the Vatican-approved Catechism of the Catholic Church (at the only point in which the latter uses the word "transubstantiation"). For what the Council distinguishes from the "substance" of the bread and wine it uses the term species:
The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the Council of Trent also in regard to the mode of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist:
The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 73, 3c.) In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." (Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651) "This presence is called 'real' – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present." (Paul VI, MF 39).:1374
The Catholic Church holds that the same change of the substance of the bread and of the wine at the Last Supper continues to occur at the consecration of the Eucharist:1377 when the words are spoken in persona Christi "This is my body ... this is my blood." In Orthodox confessions, the change is said to start during the Dominical or Lord's Words or Institution Narrative and be completed during the Epiklesis.
Teaching that Christ is risen from the dead and is alive, the Catholic Church holds, in addition to the doctrine of transubstantiation, that when the bread is changed into his body, not only his body is present, but Christ as a whole is present "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity") The same holds when the wine is transubstantiated into the blood of Christ.
In accordance with the dogmatic teaching that Christ is really, truly and substantially present under the remaining appearances of bread and wine, and continues to be present as long as those appearances remain, the Catholic Church preserves the consecrated elements, generally in a church tabernacle, for administering Holy Communion to the sick and dying, and also for the secondary, but still highly prized, purpose of adoring Christ present in the Eucharist.
In the arguments which characterised the relationship between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism in the 16th century, the Council of Trent declared subject to the ecclesiastical penalty of anathema anyone who
"denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue" and anyone who "saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood – the species only of the bread and wine remaining – which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation, let him be anathema."
The Catholic Church asserts that the consecrated bread and wine are not merely "symbols" of the body and blood of Christ: they are the body and blood of Christ. It also declares that, although the bread and wine completely cease to be bread and wine (having become the body and blood of Christ), the appearances (the "species" or look) remain unchanged, and the properties of the appearances also remain (one can be drunk with the appearance of wine despite it only being an appearance). They are still the appearances of bread and wine, not of Christ, and do not inhere in the substance of Christ. They can be felt and tasted as before, and are subject to change and can be destroyed. If the appearance of bread is lost by turning to dust or the appearance of wine is lost by turning to vinegar, Christ is no longer present.
By definition sacraments are "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Catholic Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us". The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you. ... This is the cup of my blood ..." When the signs cease to exist, so does the sacrament.
In The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: The Eucharist and Its Effects (2000–2012), James H. Dobbins, citing the work This Tremendous Lover (1989), by Dom Eugene Boylan, expresses the paradox of Holy Communion:
Ordinary food is consumed and becomes that which consumes it. In the Eucharist, we consume God and become that which we consume.
According to Catholic teaching, the whole of Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is in the sacrament, under each of the appearances of bread and wine and in each part of the appearances of bread and wine (since the substance of bread or wine is in each part of ordinary bread or wine, and the substance of Christ is in each part of the consecrated and transubstantiated elements of the host and the cup of the sacrament), but he is not in the sacrament as in a place and is not moved when the sacrament is moved. He is perceptible neither by the sense nor by the imagination, but only by the intellectual eye.
St. Thomas Aquinas gave poetic expression to this perception in the devotional hymn Adoro te devote:
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed.
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
An official statement from the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission titled Eucharistic Doctrine, published in 1971, states that "the word transubstantiation is commonly used in the Roman Catholic Church to indicate that God acting in the Eucharist effects a change in the inner reality of the elements. The term should be seen as affirming the fact of Christ's presence and of the mysterious and radical change which takes places. In Roman Catholic theology it is not understood as explaining how the change takes place." In the smallest particle of the host or the smallest droplet from the chalice Jesus Christ himself is present: "Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ."
From the period of the Dominican-Orthodox controversies witnessed by the Fourteenth Century theologian Nicholas Kabasilas until the Council of Florence and the "libellus" (booklet) of Mark of Ephesus, the Orthodox Church took the position of "a double moment of consecration" at the words "This is my body/blood" and the epiclesis (i.e. the part of the Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer) in which the priest invokes the Holy Spirit (or the power of His blessing) upon the Eucharistic bread and wine).
John Torquemada opposed the Orthodox position at the Council of Florence – despite this Orthodox position being a normative interpretation of the De sacramentis and De mysteriis of St. Ambrose. This was all the more ironic since Torquemada cited Paschasius Radbertus (who himself had claimed to quote Augustine) in his Sermo alter in the Acta Latina, in order to refute the Roman Emperor John VIII Palaiologos (who was relying on Mark of Ephesus' "libellus").
The end result was that, though Western theologians from Radbertus until St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio had held for the consecratory potential of the epiclesis, Torquemada represented the Dominican position as if it was universal and non-controversial among the Latins. In fact, Torquemada's overconfidence was the result of having studied the works of Pope Benedict XII in his debates against Mark of Ephesus at Ferrara in 1437.
In these debates, Benedict had condemned an alleged Armenian theory (never verified among any of the dozen or so Armenian commentaries from the period) that denied all consecratory value to the words of institution and confined the consecration ONLY to the epiclesis (which was not the Byzantine position). Lastly, the Armenians were alleged to hold that the eucharistic change was not substantial and only imperfect and typological, and therefore not transubstantiation.
The arguments, that Benedict XII's letter to the missionaries (c. 1340) addressed, relied on Aquinas' premises – which was no surprise given Benedict and Pope Clement VI's Thomist preferences. However, the position which he attributed to the Orthodox was confused for the actual Byzantine position expressed from Kabasilas to the Council of Florence. This has led to a gross misunderstanding, still evident also among modern and contemporary scholars when attempting to speak of theological differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
As the Disputation of the Holy Sacrament took place in the Western Church after the Great Schism, the Eastern Churches remained largely unaffected by it. The debate on the nature of "transubstantiation" in Greek Orthodoxy begins in the 17th century, with Cyril Lucaris, whose The Eastern Confession of the Orthodox Faith was published in Latin in 1629. The Greek term metousiosis (μετουσίωσις) is first used as the translation of Latin transubstantiatio in the Greek edition of the work, published in 1633.
The Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches, along with the Assyrian Church of the East, agree that in a valid Divine Liturgy bread and wine truly and actually become the body and blood of Christ. In Orthodox confessions, the change is said to start during the Liturgy of Preparation and be completed during the Epiklesis. However, there are official church documents that speak of a "change" (in Greek μεταβολή) or "metousiosis" (μετουσίωσις) of the bread and wine. "Μετ-ουσί-ωσις" (met-ousi-osis) is the Greek word used to represent the Latin word "trans-substanti-atio", as Greek "μετα-μόρφ-ωσις" (meta-morph-osis) corresponds to Latin "trans-figur-atio". Examples of official documents of the Eastern Orthodox Church that use the term "μετουσίωσις" or "transubstantiation" are the Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church (question 340) and the declaration by the Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem of 1672:
In the celebration of [the Eucharist] we believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be present. He is not present typically, nor figuratively, nor by superabundant grace, as in the other Mysteries, nor by a bare presence, as some of the Fathers have said concerning Baptism, or by impanation, so that the Divinity of the Word is united to the set forth bread of the Eucharist hypostatically, as the followers of Luther most ignorantly and wretchedly suppose. But [he is present] truly and really, so that after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, the bread is transmuted, transubstantiated, converted and transformed into the true Body Itself of the Lord, Which was born in Bethlehem of the ever-Virgin, was baptized in the Jordan, suffered, was buried, rose again, was received up, sits at the right hand of the God and Father, and is to come again in the clouds of Heaven; and the wine is converted and transubstantiated into the true Blood Itself of the Lord, Which as He hung upon the Cross, was poured out for the life of the world.
It should be noted, that the way in which the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ has never been dogmatically defined by the Eastern Orthodox Churches. However, St Theodore the Studite writes in his treatise On the Holy Icons: "for we confess that the faithful receive the very body and blood of Christ, according to the voice of God himself." This was a refutation of the iconoclasts, who insisted that the eucharist was the only true icon of Christ. Thus, it can be argued that by being part of the dogmatic "horos" against the iconoclast heresy, the teaching on the "real presence" of Christ in the eucharist is indeed a dogma of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Official writings of the churches of the Anglican Communion have consistently affirmed Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a term that includes a belief in the corporeal presence, the sacramental union, as well as several other eucharistic theologies.
Elizabeth I, as part of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, gave royal assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, which sought to distinguish Anglican from Roman Church doctrine. The Articles declared that "Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions." The Elizabethan Settlement accepted the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament, but refused to define it, preferring to leave it a mystery. Indeed, for many years it was illegal in Britain to hold public office whilst believing in transubstantiation, as under the Test Act of 1673. Archbishop John Tillotson decried the "real barbarousness of this Sacrament and Rite of our Religion", considering it a great impiety to believe that people who attend Holy Communion "verily eat and drink the natural flesh and blood of Christ. And what can any man do more unworthily towards a Friend? How can he possibly use him more barbarously, than to feast upon his living flesh and blood?" (Discourse against Transubstantiation, London 1684, 35). In the Church of England today, clergy are required to assent that the 39 Articles have borne witness to the Christian faith.
The Eucharistic teaching labeled "receptionism", defined by Claude Beauford Moss as "the theory that we receive the Body and Blood of Christ when we receive the bread and wine, but they are not identified with the bread and wine which are not changed", was commonly held by 16th and 17th-century Anglican theologians. It was characteristic of 17th century thought to "insist on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but to profess agnosticism concerning the manner of the presence". It remained "the dominant theological position in the Church of England until the Oxford Movement in the early nineteenth century, with varying degrees of emphasis". It is important to remember that it is "a doctrine of the real presence" but one which "relates the presence primarily to the worthy receiver rather than to the elements of bread and wine".
Anglicans generally consider no teaching binding that, according to the Articles, "cannot be found in Holy Scripture or proved thereby", and are not unanimous in the interpretation of such passages as John, Chapter 6, and 1 Corinthians 11, although all Anglicans affirm a view of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist: some Anglicans (especially Anglo-Catholics and some other High Church Anglicans) hold to a belief in the corporeal presence while Evangelical Anglicans hold to a belief in the pneumatic presence. As with all Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics and other High Church Anglicans historically held belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist but were "hostile to the doctrine of transubstantiation".
However, in the first half of the twentieth century, the Catholic Propaganda Society upheld both Article XXVIII and the doctrine of transubstantiation, stating that the 39 Articles specifically condemn a pre-Council of Trent "interpretation which was included by some under the term Transubstantiation" in which "the bread and wine were only left as a delusion of the senses after consecration"; it stated that "this Council propounded its definition after the Articles were written, and so cannot be referred to by them".
Theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church has produced common documents that speak of "substantial agreement" about the doctrine of the Eucharist: the ARCIC Windsor Statement of 1971, and its 1979 Elucidation. Remaining arguments can be found in the Church of England's pastoral letter: The Eucharist: Sacrament of Unity.
Lutherans explicitly reject transubstantiation believing that the bread and wine remain fully bread and fully wine while also being truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Lutheran churches instead emphasize the sacramental union (not exactly the consubstantiation, as is often claimed) and believe that within the Eucharistic celebration the body and blood of Jesus Christ are objectively present "in, with, and under the forms" of bread and wine (cf. Book of Concord). They place great stress on Jesus' instructions to "take and eat", and "take and drink", holding that this is the proper, divinely ordained use of the sacrament, and, while giving it due reverence, scrupulously avoid any actions that might indicate or lead to superstition or unworthy fear of the sacrament.
Classical Presbyterianism held Calvin's view of "pneumatic presence" or "spiritual feeding", a real presence by the Spirit for those who have faith. John Calvin "can be regarded as occupying a position roughly midway between" the doctrines of Martin Luther on one hand and Huldrych Zwingli on the other. He taught that "the thing that is signified is effected by its sign", declaring: "Believers ought always to live by this rule: whenever they see symbols appointed by the Lord, to think and be convinced that the truth of the thing signified is surely present there. For why should the Lord put in your hand the symbol of his body, unless it was to assure you that you really participate in it? And if it is true that a visible sign is given to us to seal the gift of an invisible thing, when we have received the symbol of the body, let us rest assured that the body itself is also given to us."
The Westminster Shorter Catechism summarises the teaching:
Q. What is the Lord's supper?
A. The Lord's supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to Christ's appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.
Methodists believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine (or grape juice) while, like Anglicans and Lutherans, rejecting transubstantiation. According to the United Methodist Church, "Jesus Christ, who 'is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being' (Hebrews 1:3), is truly present in Holy Communion."
While upholding the view that scripture is the primary source of Church practice, Methodists also look to church tradition and base their beliefs on the early Church teachings on the Eucharist, that Christ has a real presence in the Lord's Supper. The Catechism for the use of the people called Methodists thus states that, "[in Holy Communion] Jesus Christ is present with his worshipping people and gives himself to them as their Lord and Saviour".
the Catholic Church professes that, in the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost and the instrumentality of the priest.
By the late 1840s Anglo-Catholic interest in the revival of ritual had given new life to doctrinal debate over the nature of the Eucharist. Initially, 'the Tractarians were concerned only to exalt the importance of the sacrament and did not engage in doctrinal speculation'. Indeed they were generally hostile to the doctrine of transubstantiation. For an orthodox Anglo-Catholic such as Dyce the doctrine of the Real Presence was acceptable, but that of transubstantiation was not.
The doctrine had been affirmed by Anglican theologians, through the ages, including Lancelot Andrewes, Jeremy Taylor (who taught the doctrine of the Real Presence at the eucharist, but attacked Roman transubstantiation), William Laud and John Cosin – all in the seventeenth century – as well as in the nineteenth century Tractarians and their successors.
We reject transubstantiation because the Bible teaches that the bread and the wine are still present in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 11:27-28). We do not worship the elements because Jesus commands us to eat and to drink the bread and the wine. He does not command us to worship them.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Although some Lutherans have used the term 'consbstantiation' [sic] and it might possibly be understood correctly (e.g., the bread & wine, body & blood coexist with each other in the Lord's Supper), most Lutherans reject the term because of the false connotation it contains ... either that the body and blood, bread and wine come together to form one substance in the Lord’s Supper or that the body and blood are present in a natural manner like the bread and the wine. Lutherans believe that the bread and the wine are present in a natural manner in the Lord’s Supper and Christ's true body and blood are present in an illocal, supernatural manner.
An accident, in philosophy, is an attribute that may or may not belong to a subject, without affecting its essence.Aristotle made a distinction between the essential and accidental properties of a thing. Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic theologians have employed the Aristotelian concepts of substance and accident in articulating the theology of the Eucharist, particularly the transubstantiation of bread and wine into body and blood. In this example, the bread and wine are considered accidents, since at transubstantiation, they become incidental to the essential substance of body and blood.
In modern philosophy, an accident (or accidental property) is the union of two concepts: property and contingency. Non-essentialism argues that every property is an accident. Modal necessitarianism argues that all properties are essential and no property is an accident.Berengar of Tours
Berengar of Tours (c. 999 – 6 January 1088), in Latin Berengarius Turonensis, was an 11th-century French Christian theologian and archdeacon of Angers, a scholar whose leadership of the cathedral school at Chartres set an example of intellectual inquiry through the revived tools of dialectic that was soon followed at cathedral schools of Laon and Paris. He came into conflict with Church authorities over the doctrine of transubstantiation of the Eucharist.Blessed Sacrament
The Blessed Sacrament, also Most Blessed Sacrament, is a devotional name used in the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, as well as in Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism, and the Old Catholic Church, as well as in some of the Eastern Catholic Churches, to refer to the body and blood of Christ in the form of consecrated sacramental bread and wine at a celebration of the Eucharist. In the Byzantine Rite, the terms Holy Gifts and Divine Mysteries are used to refer to the consecrated elements. Christians in these traditions believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic elements of the bread and wine and some of them, therefore, practice Eucharistic reservation and adoration. This belief is based on interpretations of both scripture and sacred tradition. The Catholic understanding has been defined by numerous ecumenical councils, including the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Trent, which is quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which explains the meaning of transubstantiation).The largest Portuguese feast in the world is held in New Bedford, Massachusetts in honor of the Blessed Sacrament attracting over 100,000 visitors each year.Blood of Christ
Blood of Christ in Christian theology refers to (a) the physical blood actually shed by Jesus Christ primarily on the Cross, and the salvation which Christianity teaches was accomplished thereby; and (b) the sacramental blood present in the Eucharist or Lord's Supper, which is considered by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran Christians to be the same blood of Christ shed on the Cross.
The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and Lutherans, together with some Anglicans, believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Roman Catholic Church uses the term "transubstantiation" to describe the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Eastern Orthodox to have authoritatively used the same term to describe the change, as in The Longer Catechism of The Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church and in the decrees of the 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.The Lutheran churches follow the teaching of Martin Luther in defining the presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements as sacramental union (often misconstrued as consubstantiation), meaning that the fundamental "substance" of the body and blood of Christ are literally present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain present. Lutherans too believe in and teach the Real Presence. Most Protestant churches reject the idea of the Real Presence; they observe eucharistic rites as simply memorials.Consubstantiation
Consubstantiation is a Christian theological doctrine that (like transubstantiation) describes the real presence in the Eucharist. It holds that during the sacrament, the substance of the body and blood of Christ are present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain present.
It was part of the doctrines of Lollardy and considered a heresy by the Roman Catholic Church.Corpus Christi (feast)
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for "Body of Christ") is a Catholic liturgical solemnity celebrating the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the elements of the Eucharist—known as transubstantiation. Two months earlier, the Eucharist is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ's washing of the disciples' feet, the institution of the priesthood and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The feast of Corpus Christi was established to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, "where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day". In the liturgical reforms of 1969, under Pope Paul VI, the bishops of each nation have the option to transfer it to the following Sunday.
At the end of Holy Mass, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and passes to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where it concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The celebration of the feast was suppressed in Protestant churches during the Reformation, because they do not hold to the teachings of transubstantiation. Depending on the denomination, Protestant churches instead believe in differing views concerning the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, or that Christ is symbolically or metaphorically part of the eucharist. Today, most Protestant denominations do not recognize the feast. The Church of England abolished it in 1548 as the English Reformation progressed, but later reintroduced it.Eucharist in the Catholic Church
The Eucharist in the Catholic Church is a sacrament celebrated as "the source and summit" of the Christian life. The Eucharist is celebrated daily (except on Good Friday, when consecration takes place on Holy Thursday, but is distributed during the Mass of the Presanctified) during the celebration of Mass, the eucharistic liturgy. The term Eucharist is also used for the bread and wine when transubstantiated (their substance having been changed), according to Catholic teaching, into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood."Blessed Sacrament is a devotional term used in the Roman Catholic Church to refer to the eucharistic species (the Body and Blood of Christ). Consecrated hosts are kept in a tabernacle after Mass, so that the Blessed Sacrament can be brought to the sick and dying outside the time of Mass. This makes possible also the practice of eucharistic adoration. Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is ... a proof of gratitude, an expression of love,... and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord."Eucharistic miracle
In Christianity, a Eucharistic miracle is any miracle involving the Eucharist. In the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches, the fact that Christ is really made manifest in the Eucharist is deemed a Eucharistic miracle; however, this is to be distinguished from other manifestations of God. The Catholic Church distinguishes between divine revelation, such as the Eucharist, and private revelation, such as Eucharistic miracles. In general, reported Eucharistic miracles usually consist of unexplainable phenomena such as consecrated Hosts visibly transforming into myocardium tissue, being preserved for extremely long stretches of time, surviving being thrown into fire, bleeding, or even sustaining people for decades. Verification of Eucharistic miracles often depends on the religious branch reporting the supposed miracle, but in the case of the Catholic Church, a special task-force or commission investigates supposed Eucharistic miracles before deciding whether they are "worthy of belief." As with other private revelations, such as Marian apparitions, belief in approved miracles is not mandated by the Catholic Church, but often serves to reassure believers of God's presence or as the means to "send a message" to the population at large. Anglican Churches have also confirmed extraordinary Eucharistic miracles. It is also not uncommon for religious authorities to allow secular sources to investigate, and verify, at least specifics (such as muscle type) of the supposed miracle.Eucharistic theology
Eucharistic theology is a branch of Christian theology which treats doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, also commonly known as the Lord's Supper. It exists exclusively in Christianity and related religions, as others generally do not contain a Eucharistic ceremony.
In the Gospel accounts of Jesus' earthly ministry, a crowd of listeners challenges him regarding the rain of manna before he delivers the famous Bread of Life Discourse (John 6:22–59), and he describes himself as the "True Bread from Heaven". The aforementioned Bread of Life Discourse occurs in the Gospel of John, 6:30–59. Therein, Jesus promises to give His Flesh and Blood, which will give eternal life to all who receive It. In John 6:53, Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." And continues, (v. 54–55) "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." Every year, the nation of Israel celebrated the Passover Meal, remembering and celebrating their liberation from captivity in Egypt. It was at the Passover that Jesus Christ celebrated the Last Supper with his Apostles.
Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23–26) and the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew (26:26–28), Mark (14:22–24), and Luke (22:19–20) state that Jesus, in the course of the Last Supper on the night before his death and resurrection, said: "This is my body", and "This is my blood". For instance, Matthew recounts: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body; And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." The Gospel of John, on the other hand, makes no mention of this. One explanation offered is that he wrote his Gospel to supplement what the other evangelists had already written.Fourth Council of the Lateran
The Fourth Council of the Lateran was convoked by Pope Innocent III with the papal bull Vineam domini Sabaoth of 19 April 1213, and the Council gathered at Rome's Lateran Palace beginning 11 November 1215. Due to the great length of time between the Council's convocation and meeting, many bishops had the opportunity to attend. It is considered by the Catholic Church to have been the twelfth ecumenical council and is sometimes called the "Great Council" or "General Council of Lateran" due to the presence of 71 patriarchs and metropolitan bishops, 412 bishops, 900 abbots and priors together with representatives of several monarchs.During this council, the teaching on transubstantiation— a doctrine of the Catholic Church which describes the method by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrament of the Eucharist becomes the actual blood and body of Christ— was defined. It also infamously was the first to require from Jews (and Muslims) to wear distinctive clothing.John Longland
John Longland (died 1547) was the English Dean of Salisbury from 1514 to 1521 and Bishop of Lincoln from 1521 to his death in 1547.
He was made a Demy at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1491 and became a Fellow. He was King Henry VIII's confessor and was said to have been one of those who first persuaded the King that he should annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon.In 1519 he was appointed Canon of the sixth stall at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, a position he held until 1520. He was also Lord Almoner from c.1521. He was consecrated a bishop on 5 May 1521, by William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester; Nicholas West, Bishop of Ely; and John Vesey, Bishop of Exeter.During the English Reformation, he was among the conservative bishops, recognizing Transubstantiation. His conservatism is attested to by his complaint in 1536 to Thomas Cromwell about Protestant preachers in his diocese.Lord's Supper in Reformed theology
In Reformed theology, the Lord's Supper or Eucharist is a sacrament that spiritually nourishes Christians and strengthens their union with Christ. The outward or physical action of the sacrament is eating bread and drinking wine. Reformed confessions, which are official statements of the beliefs of Reformed churches, teach that Christ's body and blood are really present in the sacrament, but that this presence is communicated in a spiritual manner rather than by his body being physically eaten. The Reformed doctrine of real presence is sometimes called mystical real presence or spiritual real presence.
Early Reformed theologians such as John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli rejected the medieval belief in transubstantiation, that the bread and wine of the Eucharist change into Christ's body and blood, but taught that Christ's person, including his body and blood, are presented to Christians who partake of it in faith. They also disagree with Martin Luther and the Lutheran tradition which taught that Christ's body is physically eaten with the mouth in the sacrament. Later Reformed orthodox theologians continued to teach views similar to that of Calvin and Zwingli. In the modern period, Karl Barth espoused a symbolic view that the sacrament only communicates God's promises rather than functioning to actually confer these promises. Other Reformed theologians continued to teach the traditional view.Metousiosis
Metousiosis is a Greek term (μετουσίωσις) that means a change of ousia (οὐσία, "essence, inner reality").Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist
The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a term used in Christian theology to express the doctrine that Jesus is really or substantially present in the Eucharist, not merely symbolically or metaphorically.
There are a number of different views in the understanding of the meaning of the term "reality" in this context among contemporary Christian confessions which accept it, including the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East, Lutheranism, Anglicanism and Methodism. These differences correspond to literal or figurative interpretations of Christ's Words of Institution, as well as questions related to the concept of realism in the context of the Platonic substance and accident. Efforts at mutual understanding of the range of beliefs by these Churches led in the 1980s to consultations on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry through the World Council of Churches.
By contrast, the doctrine is rejected by Anabaptists.Sacramental bread
Sacramental bread, sometimes called altar bread, Communion bread, the Lamb or simply the host (Latin: hostia, sacrificial victim), is the bread used in the Christian ritual of the Eucharist (also referred to as the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion, among other names). Along with sacramental wine, it is one of two "elements" of the Eucharist. The bread may be either leavened or unleavened (appearing as a wafer), depending on tradition.
Roman Catholic theology generally teaches that at the Words of Institution the bread is changed into the Body of Christ (see transubstantiation), whereas Eastern Christian theology generally views the epiclesis as the point at which the change occurs. Some Protestants believe transignification occurs at the Words of Institution.Sacramental union
Sacramental union (Latin, unio sacramentalis; Luther's German, Sacramentliche Einigkeit; German, sakramentalische Vereinigung) is the Lutheran theological doctrine of the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Christian Eucharist (see Eucharist in Lutheranism).Sacramentarians
The Sacramentarians were Christians during the Protestant Reformation who denied not only the Roman Catholic transubstantiation but also the Lutheran sacramental union.
Historically speaking, this term often referred to Calvinist Protestants.
Sacramentarians comprised two parties:
the followers of Wolfgang Capito, Andreas Karlstadt and Martin Bucer, who at the Diet of Augsburg presented the Confessio Tetrapolitana from the cities of Strasbourg, Konstanz, Lindau and Memmingen.
the followers of the Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli, including Johannes Oecolampadius. Zwingli presented his own confession of faith at the Diet of Augsburg.The doctrinal standpoint was the same – an admission of a spiritual presence of Christ which the devout soul can receive and enjoy, but a total rejection of any physical or corporeal presence.
After holding their own view for some years the four cities accepted the Confession of Augsburg, and were merged in the general body of Lutherans; but Zwingli's position was incorporated in the Helvetic Confession. In more modern times, a curious inversion of terms has led to the name Sacramentarians being applied to those who hold a high or extreme view of the efficacy of the sacraments.Stercoranism
Stercoranism (from Latin stercorarius, "belonging to dung", from stercus, "dung") is a supposed belief or doctrine attributed reciprocally to the other side by those who in the eleventh century upheld and those who denied that the bread and wine offered in the Eucharist become in substance, but not in form, the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Those who upheld the view that they do change, but only in substance, accused their opponents of asserting that what is presented as the body and blood of Christ is no more than what subsequently is subject to the normal digestive processes after ingestion, eventually passing through the intestines and being excreted through defecation. Those who held the opposite view retorted that the same accusation applied rather to the upholders of the change of substance.
On this, see the explanation given by the Protestant theologian and historian Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, who calls it an "imaginary heresy".Stratford Martyrs Memorial
The Stratford Martyrs Memorial is a memorial that commemorates the group of 11 men and two women who were burned at the stake together for their Protestant beliefs, at Stratford-le-Bow or Stratford near London in England on 27 June 1556, during the Marian persecutions.
In 1879, a large monument was erected in St John's churchyard in Stratford Broadway, to commemorate the 13 and others who were executed or tortured in Stratford during the persecutions. Designed by J T Newman, it consists of an ornate hexagonal column, capped with a 12-sided spire rising to a height of 65 feet. One side of the column carries a terra cotta plaque, sculpted in relief, based on the illustration of the martyrdom in Foxe's book. The other panels carry the names of the 13 martyrs, together with Elizabeth Warne (burnt 23 August 1555), Stephen Harwood (burnt 30 August 1555), Hugh Laverock and John Apprice (both burnt 15 May 1556). Also included are Patrick Packingham, who was actually executed at Uxbridge and the Reverend Thomas Rose, the Vicar of All Saints Church, West Ham, who "was tortured and exiled for preaching against auricular confession, transubstantiation, purgatory and images". The memorial is Grade II listed on the National Heritage List for England.The monument was paid for by public subscription; the chairman of the appeal committee was Rev. William Jay Bolton, the Vicar of Stratford. It was inaugurated in a ceremony on 2 August 1879, presided over by the Earl of Shaftesbury, who made a strongly anti-Catholic speech. The opinion of The Graphic, a national weekly newspaper, was that "Language of this sort is better calculated to wound the feelings of many good people than to break down barriers that already too effectually divide the different denominations."
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