Did any of the early church fathers believe/write/teach that the Lord’s Supper was a symbol, as Protestants believe?
No, There are many who speak of “the “bread” we eat as the flesh of our Lord”, “the Eucharist we eat as the Body of Christ”.
Here is a list of citations from the Early Church Fathers on the Sacrifice of the Mass:
Thanks to both of you. I am aware of the ECF’s that write/speak/teach the True Presence, I’m trying to find a paper trail of the Protestant claim.
The key with the early Church Fathers is the frequency and commonality amoung them of the words “sacrifice” and “alter”. Nearly all of them used it when describing the eucharist. A sacrifice is not a symbol.
In the Jewish tradition, before ritual sacrifices were ceased, real animals were used - not symbols of them. They made sacrifices at the “alter”, which implies a sacrifice. An alter is not an alter unless there is a sacrifice.
It is clear that the Father of the Church believed in the real presence whenever they use the word “sacrifice”, and thus it is what we believe.
If the Protestant has made the claim, then have them provide you the documntation to support thier claim.