Paul, (whatsup with not having a basic profile Paul? ) whom Moonshadow and I met over on Jennie's blog wants to talk about the Early Church Fathers, specifically Augustine and Justin Martyr, although I'm pretty sure he thinks none of the early church fathers were Catholic. So I've invited him to make his case here. He apparently is use to commenting on Catholic forums. This will be a home game, but I know everyone will play nice.
The throw down- Paul said: Elena, let's continue this interaction regarding the ECF's view of The Eucharist and see who is "falling far short of the actual historical truth". I can let the ECF's be the ECF's. I am not obligated to hold to a distorted view of history such as was declared at Trent and Vatican I. The truth is, there were various understandings of the "real presence" in the early church. Sadly, Rome has painted herself into a corner by making solemn declarations on claims that history cannot support.
While there may have been various understandings there was not outright denial and certainly nothing that looks like the kind of understanding that Paul et al have towards the Lord's supper. I'll start things off with:
Ignatius of Antioch
They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they refuse to acknowledge that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which the Father by his goodness raised up. (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6:2; Lightfoot / Harmer / Holmes, 110)
And this food is called among us Εuχαριστiα [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, 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. (First Apology, chapter 66; ANF, Vol. I)
HT Dave Armstrong ebook- Church Fathers.