But this criticism brought him to more radical consequences. He attacked transsubstantiation, saying that the body of Christ is, spatially speaking, in Heaven.
He is actually, or virtualiter (I. e., with its power) in the bread, but not spatially.
This of course is a complete contradiction to the idea of transsubstantiation. And now he realized that the Church rejected him, and since he knew that he was right, on Biblical grounds, in these criticisms, he realized that the official Church can err with respect to articles of faith. This was the great experience of Luther, that the Church rejected something which was a criticism of errors and which represented truth, From this follows that he is able to criticize any Church decision which is unbelievable, because the Bible is the real law of Christ. From there he criticized the number of the sacraments, special sacraments such as marriage, etc; he criticized the character indelibilis , the idea in Catholicism that he who is baptized, confirmed, and ordained has a special character which he never can lose, even if he cannot exercise it. He even criticized the celibacy of the priests.
He criticized the idea of the treasury of the saints, and the superstitious elements of the popular religion. The monks must be abolished because they produced separation between the one Church. And there should not be a division in the status, in principle; there should be a communis religio , a common religion, to which everybody belongs; and even what the Catholic church calls the monastic counsels is something which everybody shall fulfill – for instance, the love of the enemies. In this way one can say: negatively Wyclif has almost anticipated all positions of the Reformers. He was supported by the king who was of course on his side, because the English crown was for a long time in national opposition against the influence of Rome on the affairs of the English nation, religiously and, indirectly, politically. He was attacked very much, but never hurt; he was protected.
After his death his movement slowly ebbed away, but the seeds were in the soil and became fertile when the real Reformation broke through.
Now this shows you cannot reform the Roman church on the basis of sectarian criticism, even if this criticism is as radical as it was in Wyclif. You can reform only in the power of a new principle, the power of a new relationship to God. This is what the Reformers did.
Counter-Reformation; Roman Catholicism.
Now I am at the end of the pre-Reformers and should come to the Reformation.
But before doing so, I will go to the Counter-Reformation development of the Roman church, from the Council of Trent up to the present day, in order to get: rid of this part which is so important for you that you must – no, not :get rid,” because it is one of the most important things we must learn: what is, really, the Roman Catholic church, with which we live on every place together? Do we really know what it is? You know much about the Reformation, and it is important that you learn about the history of the Church and also the history of the Roman church after the Reformation.