Jan Hus statue, Prague. Hus was a priest and professor who often promoted the writings of John Wycliffe, whose doubts about Church teaching still sound radical to most Anglicans today (except perhaps in Sydney). But the violence with which the Church met them is equally shocking; people were murdered for believing the wrong things. Among the controversies: the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament (Hus favored consubstantiation, not transsubstantiation, though the differences seem largely technical today), selling of indulgences, the moral laxity of clergy and religious, and the centrality of Scripture in determining doctrine. But here’s one you may not have heard of: Rome taught that the Church consisted solely of those who were ordained. Thus without the Church no one could be saved. It didn’t take a scholar to point out that nowhere in the Bible is such a thing suggested – which was the whole problem in a nutshell. Wycliffe and Hus both paid with their lives – and Bohemia turned 95% Protestant. (Wikipedia) Hus assailed the Church for administering the Eucharist in only one kind, and got burned at the stake for daring to oppose the Bishop of Rome.

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