John Lingard
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John Lingard

According to the Catholic belief, the bread and wine in the sacrament of the Eucharist, are made verily and indeed, the body and blood of Christ. This doctrine is grounded on the express words of our blessed Lord in the institution of the sacrament: This is my body. This is my blood. The natural import of these words is so very obvious, that I shall content myself with only one observation: that if Christ had wished to inculcate the Catholic doctrine, he could not have done it in terms better adapted to the purpose; and if he meant to inculcate the doctrine of the Church of England, he could hardly have selected words more likely to lead his disciples into error…. It should moreover be observed that the doctrine which maintains the literal meaning of the words, this is my body; this is my blood, is not of recent invention or confined to the breasts of a few individuals. It was the uniform belief of the whole Christian church at the time of the Reformation.

– from Remarks on the Doctrine of the Bishop of Durham with Respect to the Holy Eucharist.

John Lingard (1771-1851) was a Roman Catholic priest and English historian whose writings anticipated those of future English apologists for Catholicism such as Hillaire Belloc, who, like Lingard, used history as a way to demonstrate the truths of the Catholic Church. Lingard’s magnum opus, the eight-volume The History of England, for instance, sought to show how the Reformation proved a disaster for the people of the British Isles. The royalties Lingard received for this work were donated to seminaries and other endeavors to foster vocations to the Catholic priesthood.

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