Introduction Timeline Early Life Stance Schism Controversy Exile Council of Constance Legacy Persons/Events Medals Overview Bibliography
THE CONFESSOR’S STANCE
Jan Hus could have lived out his life as a professor and favored preacher in Prague, but that life would have gone against God’s truth found in the Scriptures. Thus Hus took a stand opposing the many abuses he saw in the Roman Catholic Church.
“Therefore faithful Christian, seek the truth, listen to the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, adhere to truth and defend truth to the death. For truth will set you free from sin, the Devil and the destruction of the soul, and ultimately from eternal death which is eternal separation from God’s grace and the joy of salvation.”
Written by Hus in “Vyklad Viry” from Opera Omnia, as quoted in Thomas A. Fudge, Jan Hus: Religious Reform and Social Revolution in Bohemia.
Hus’ ideas were greatly influenced by the writings of John Wycliffe, an English scholar and theologian in the fourteenth century, whose teachings stressed the sole authority of Scripture. Hus boldly condemned many common church practices including simony (the act of selling church offices or roles), the sale of indulgences (granting remission of sins in purgatory), and pilgrimages to view relics. Not only did Hus dispute church practices, he also severely admonished the greed and immorality among many in the clergy. Hus’ stance created many enemies amid his fellow clergy and he soon became embroiled in a political controversy in the church.
“It is better for me to die than not to oppose such wickedness, which would make me a participant in their guilt and hell.”
From a letter Jan Hus wrote to the Polish King, Wladislaw, June 11, 1412, translated in Matthew Spinka, The Letters of John Hus.