John Wycliffe (c.1330-84)

John Wycliff was a radical Oxford philosopher and theologian, protected by John of Gaunt (who needed academic propaganda to support his attack on Church), despite condemnation of his teachings by pope and a synod of English Church 1382. Produced many treatises: De Dominio Divino and De Dominio Civile attacked governmental structure of contemporary Church, rejecting clergy's possession of worldly wealth; De Eucharistia denied orthodox doctrine of transubstantiation. Wycliff's lectures at Oxford influenced students, who disseminated his opinions. Wycliffe is a Religious reformer,

If transubstantiation were true - then the many priests who raped children signifies that Christ Himself is a rapist. Therefore how can Christ rape Himself; if the priest takes the bread and wine as well as the children, then who is raping who?
The same goes for the millions of innocent people murdered by the bullying church out of jealousy and greed.

Born near Richmond, Yorkshire, N England, UK. Wycliffe studied at Oxford, where he taught philosophy, then entered the Church, becoming Rector of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, in 1374. He was sent to Bruges to treat with ambassadors from the Pope about ecclesiastical abuses, but his views were found unacceptable, and he was prosecuted. He then attacked the Church hierarchy, priestly power, and the doctrine of transubstantiation, wrote many popular tracts in English (as opposed to Latin), and issued the first English translation of the Bible. His opinions were condemned, and he was forced to retire to Lutterworth, where he wrote prolifically until his death. The characteristic of his teaching was its insistence on inward religion in opposition to the formalism of the time. His followers were known as Lollards, and the influence of his teaching was widespread in England, in many respects anticipating the Reformation. The Pope's assassination squad had a contract on Wycliffe, but he died a natural death. His bones were dug up and burned by the braindead weeds. Yet the English language has spread throughout the world thanks to Wycliff's translation of the Bible into English. William Tyndale's printed Bible was revolutionary in spreading the English language in Great Britain. Tyndale was not so fortunate - the popes assassination squad caught up with him - he was strangled and then burnt at the stake.

Royden John Elson
Roy Elson

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