The Stirring of Reforms in Prague

This is part of an ongoing series of posts about the 16th century Reformations that shook Christianity and civil society. If you would like to “catch up” on the series, you can see all the posts here.

The knowledge of Wycliffe and the Lollards reached deep into the Holy Roman Empire and found a home among Jan Hus, a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague. It was there that he came into possession of the banned works of Wycliffe which Hus translated into the Czech language. 1408, Pope Gregory XII warned Archbishop Zajic of Prague that the Church in Rome had been informed of Wycliffe’s heresies and of King Wenceslaus’ sympathies for non-conformists. In response, the king and University ordered all of Wycliffe’s writings surrendered to the archdiocesan chancery for correction. Hus obeyed, declaring that he condemned the errors in those writings. Yet at the same time, disavowing himself of the theological errors, Hus tried to reform the church by delineating the moral failings of clergy, bishops, and even the papacy from his pulpit. Archbishop Zajíc tolerated this, and even appointed Hus as preacher to the clergy’s biennial synod. Continue reading