Jan Hus: 600 Years a Martyr
Today, July 6, 2015, marks 600 years since Jan Hus, theologian and reformer from Prague, was put to death at the decree of the Council of Constance. Hus espoused teachings that in many ways anticipated aspects of the Protestant Reformation more than one hundred years later. Critical of papal hegemony and certain church practices (e.g. withholding the eucharistic cup from the laity), Hus ultimately did not garner the kind of secular protection that Luther would have in Elector Frederick. His writings, especially his treatise on the Church, led Luther to write to Johann von Staupitz in 1520, “we are all Hussites.” Thus for Luther, the execution of Jan Hus was one of the greatest errors of the Council of Constance and a tragic argument against the infallibility of pope and councils.