...the roots of the weeds, is the Popish doctrine of Transubstantiation, of the real presence of Christ's flesh and blood in the sacrament of the altar, (as they call it) and of the sacrifice and oblation of Christ made by the priest for the salvation of the quick and the dead. Which roots, if they be suffered to grow in the Lord's vineyard, they will over-spread all the ground again with the old errors and superstitions. These injuries to Christ be so intolerable, that no Christian heart can willingly bear them.
Between the end of January and mid February 1556, Cranmer made four recantations, submitting himself to the authority of the monarch and recognising the Pope as the head of the church, but despite this his priesthood was taken from him and his execution was set for the 7th March. Cranmer quickly made a fifth recantation in which he stated that he fully accepted Catholic theology and that there was no salvation outside of the Catholic Church, and announced that he was happy to return to the Catholic fold. This recantation and statement of faith really should have led to him being absolved but although his execution was postponed another date was soon set. This postponement simply allowed a final, public recantation to be organised at University Church, Oxford. [Source: Claire Ridgway, B.A. University of Warwick]
And now I come to the great thing which so much troubleth my conscience, more than any thing that ever I did or said in my whole life, and that is the setting abroad of a writing contrary to the truth; which now I here renounce and refuse, as things written with my hand contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and written for fear of death, and to save my life if it might be; and that is, all such bills and papers which I have written or signed with my hand since my degradation, wherein I have written many things untrue. And forasmuch as my hand hath offended, writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished; for when I come to the fire, it shall be first burned. As for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy and antichrist, with all his false doctrine. As for the sacrament, I believe as I have taught in my book against the bishop of Winchester, which my book teacheth so true a doctrine of the sacrament, that it shall stand at the last day before the judgment of God, where the papistical doctrine contrary thereto shall be ashamed to shew her face.