The theory that during Holy Communion bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ (later called transubstantiation*) and that the mass is a sacrifice, which had been gaining ground, was championed by P. Radbertus,* who argued from the authority of the fathers and alleged miracles. Ratramnus,* asked for his opinion by Charles* II of Fr., condemned the treatise of Radbertus and stressed figurative and mysterious aspects of the Sacrament. Rabanus* Maurus and J. S. Erigena* held similar views; Hincmar* of Reims and others sided with Radbertus; the Scriptural doctrine of the real presence (see Grace, Means of, IV 3) was lost sight of. The theory of Radbertus prevailed.
Bérenger* elaborated the theory of Ratramnus; denied that unworthy communicants receive the body and blood of Christ; was opposed by Lanfranc*; condemned unheard by a syn. in Rome 1050; condemned, while in prison, by a syn. in Vercelli 1050, which also had the book of Ratramnus on the Eucharist burned; condemned again in a council at Paris 1050 or 1051; satisfied the papal legate Hildebrand (see Popes, 7) with an evasive declaration 1054; was compelled in Rome to burn his writings and accept a Capernaitic* formula 1059; repudiated this confession and answered Lanfranc with his chief work, De Sacra Coena adversus Lanfrancum liber posterior; was compelled 1079 at Rome, by Gregory VII (see Popes, 7), to abjure his view and sign a formula in which the words substantialiter converti (a statement of transubstantiation) appear for the first time in official context; on return to Fr. he again repudiated his submission to Rome, but was brought to heel again at a council at Bordeaux 1080; died a solitary penitent. Transubstantiation came to be gen. accepted, stated in the 4th Lateran* Council 1215, the 2d Council of Lyons* 1274, and the Council of Florence* 1439, and confirmed by the Council of Trent* 1551 (Sess. XIII, chap. IV; divergent views anathematized in related canons).
M. Luther* rejected transubstantiation and defended the real presence.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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