John Hus being burned at the stake for heresy.
John Hus (aka Jan Hus, Jon Hus) was a Bohemian priest at the University of Prague. He translated and spread the ideas of the English priest and anti-Catholic, John Wycliff. Unless otherwise noted below, Hus shared the same beliefs as Wycliff:
- didn't believe in Transubstiation (John Hus did believe in Transubstiation),
- didn't believe in the divine institution of the hierarchy,
- didn't believe in Indulgences,
- didn't believe in Auricular Confession
- didn't believe in Extreme Unction,
- held that the Bible alone without Tradition was the sole rule of Faith,
- the Church was composed only of the predestined,
- prayer and sacraments only benefited these predestined, and
- sins could no harm the predestined.
The Council of Constance (1414–1418) rejected the heretical teachings of John Hus who refused to recant them. Hus was tried publicly on the 5th, 6th, and 8th June 1415. On 6 July 1415 due to his holding of heretical beliefs he was stripped of his priestly dignity and turned over to the secular power for punishment. Later that day Hus was burned at the stake.
Francis' Address to the Delegation from the Czech Republic, on the Occasion of the 600th Anniversary of the Death of Jan Hus
(translated from the Italian at the Vatican's website)
Monday 15 June 2015
I welcome you, the distinguished representatives of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, who came to Rome to celebrate, at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, a Liturgy of Reconciliation on the occasion of the six hundredth anniversary of the death of the reformer Jan Hus. I address a cordial greeting to Cardinal Miloslav Vlk.
This meeting gives us the opportunity to renew and deepen relations between our communities. In obedience to the Lord Jesus, who on the eve of his passion and death prayed to the Father for the unity of his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21) we have a duty to promote greater mutual understanding and active (effective) cooperation. Many disputes of the past asking to be revisited in light of the new context in which we live, and agreements and convergence will be achieved if we will face the traditional conflicting issues with a fresh look. Above all, we can not forget that the shared profession of faith in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in which we were baptized, already unites us in bonds of genuine fraternity.
It's been six centuries since the day Jan Hus, a renowned preacher and rector of the University of Prague, tragically died. In 1999, St. John Paul II, speaking at an international symposium dedicated to this memorable figure, expressed his "deep regret for the cruel death inflicted [on him]," and he [Jan Hus] has ranked among the reformers of the Church. In light of this approach, it is necessary to continue the study on the person and the works of Jan Hus, who has long been a subject of contention among Christians, while today he has become an incentive for dialogue. This research, conducted without ideological conditions, will be an important service to historical truth, and to all Christians and to society, even beyond the borders of your nation [Czech Republic].
The Second Vatican Council said that "the renewal of the Church," which "consists essentially in fidelity to its vocation ... is undoubtedly the basis of the movement toward unity ... This renewal therefore has notable ecumenical significance" (Unitatis redintegratio, 6). Today, in particular, the need for a new evangelization of many men and women who seem indifferent to the joyful news of the Gospel, makes it the urgent duty of every renewal of ecclesial structure so as to promote the positive response of all those to whom Jesus offers his friendship. (cf. ibid., n. Evangelii Gaudium, 27) And the visible communion among Christians will surely make more credible the announcement.
Answering the call of Christ to continual conversion, of which we all need, we can move forward together on the path of reconciliation and peace. Along this path we learn, by the grace of God, to recognize one another as friends and to consider the motivations of others in the best possible light. In this sense I hope we develop bonds of friendship at the level of local communities and parish.
With these sentiments, I join in spirit the penitential liturgy that will be celebrated here in Rome. God, rich in mercy, grant us the grace to recognize all sinners and knowing how to forgive one another. I assure you of my prayers and I ask all of you to please pray for me and for my ministry. Thank you.
Francis gives an approving thumb up to John Hus and his heresies!