Jan Hus Martyred
Definition: The Church’s murder in 1415 of the Bohemian priest for writing against the papacy. The 1300’s saw the papacy in shambles during the so-called “Babylonian Captivity of the Church.” In 1412 there were three rival popes vying for supremacy in what is known as the “Western Schism.” Pope Gregory XII proclaimed the sale of indulgences to finance a war against Pope John XXIII. Hus wrote that the use of force by the papal armies was contrary to Christ’s teachings. He claimed that Jesus, not the pope, is head of the Church. He denied that submission to the immoral papacy was necessary for salvation. He wrote against indulgences and their use for fundraising. After being promised safe passage, Hus was arrested and imprisoned by the Archbishop of Constance. On July 6, 1415, his writings were condemned and he was stripped of his priestly garments. He was burned at the stake, and his ashes were thrown into a nearby river. However his teachings spread to such an extent that in 1429 Pope Martin V (elected in 1417 to replace the three popes) found it necessary to order the King of Poland to exterminate the “Hussites.” He proclaimed: “While there is still time, then, turn your forces against Bohemia; burn massacre, make deserts everywhere, for nothing could be more agreeable to God, or more useful to the cause of kings, than the extermination of the Hussites.”
Discussion: Simony, murder, sexual immorality, political intrigue, genocide, forgeries, popes becoming anti-popes – such is the sordid history of the “Holy See” of Catholicism. Yet the Church provides a list of popes stretching back to the fictional papacy of Peter to support its (spurious) authority. Jesus warned about the ravenous wolves of the papacy: “You will know them by their fruits” (Mt. 7:16).
Articles & Viewpoints:
- Excerpt from Wylie’s History – The Council of Constance