Sacramentarians

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Reading of the Confessio Augustana by Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530

The Sacramentarians were Christians during the Protestant Reformation who denied not only the Roman Catholic transubstantiation but also the Lutheran sacramental union.

Historically speaking, this term often referred to Calvinist Protestants.

Sacramentarians comprised two parties:

  1. the followers of Wolfgang Capito, Andreas Karlstadt and Martin Bucer, who at the Diet of Augsburg presented the Confessio Tetrapolitana from the cities of Strasbourg, Konstanz, Lindau and Memmingen.
  2. the followers of the Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli, including Johannes Oecolampadius. Zwingli presented his own confession of faith at the Diet of Augsburg.

The doctrinal standpoint was the same – an admission of a spiritual presence of Christ which the devout soul can receive and enjoy, but a total rejection of any physical or corporeal presence.

After holding their own view for some years the four cities accepted the Confession of Augsburg, and were merged in the general body of Lutherans; but Zwingli's position was incorporated in the Helvetic Confession. In more modern times, a curious inversion of terms has led to the name Sacramentarians being applied to those who hold a high or extreme view of the efficacy of the sacraments.

Sources

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sacramentarians". Encyclopædia Britannica. XXIII (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 979. 
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