Yep. Hus was a heretic.
I have little doubt that he was; but keep in mind, so were/are the Roman Catholics he was protesting against!
I think what is perhaps more meaningful (if any of this is even worth discussing at all), is whether or not he was "more right, than wrong."
On that score, I think it can be said Jan Hus was "moving in the right direction", at least on most things; in others, I think he was simply a product of the culture/philosphical trends that he was coming from.
One thing that seems to seperate him from the later Reformationists is that according to the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
(which if anything, is not a "philo-Jan Huss" source), is that he was a philosophical realist
, and not a "nominalist" (as Luther was).
It seems very difficult to find information on what Jan Hus himself actually taught (at least online), though constant reference is made to Wycliffe's teachings, which for the most part, Hus was sympathetic towards (though apparently, at least according to the profile of Jan Hus at the Ecole Glossary
, he did not agree with Wycliffe's teaching of impanation
of the Eucharist, which in some respects is similar to the Lutheran teaching of consubstantiation
What all of the different sources (regardless of their own baises) seem to agree on, is that Jan Hus did do/say the following...
- he rejected the doctrine of the "two swords" (that the Papacy not only had a right to ecclessiastical authority, but also secular authority)
- rejected the practice of witholding the chalice from the laity in administering communion.
- preached against indulgences.
- believed the Papacy was ultimatly a matter of ecclessial good order, and did not exist on the basis of a Divine mandate.
- taught against the accumulation of wealth by the clergy ("evangelical poverty") This particular point is interesting, since he was not the first (or last) to bring it up - it was particularly a contentious point as far as many of the Franciscans were concerned (their entire order being founded on the basis of absolute poverty, and as a rebuke to the clerical decadence which existed in Francis' time).
Where I get some ambiguity in the various witnesses to what Jan Hus' taught, was his opinion on the Eucharist. Some say he was opposed to the Mass; which seems unlikely, since it is said his celebration of it is what got him executed by the decree of the Council of Constance. I've also have read that he was anti-heirarchal; however, I don't think this can be understood in a Protestant sense, since he himself claimed that he was willing to submit to the judgement of Rome, if they would only demonstrate where he had erred. So in this way, his views are much like those of Martin Luther were at the begining of his "protest" (not later on, when they had grown much more radical.)
Another thing I read several times, is that he was opposed to the sacrament of confession. How true this is, would require me to be able to actually read his writings on these subjects first hand (if anyone has found online sources, I'd be interested in reading them.)
That Ukrainian Orthodox article sounds like a bit of ethnic revisionism to me.
There may have been individual Hussites who became Orthodox, but Hus was a proto-Protestant, not a disciple of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.
I agree, in the sense that he was a product of the political/religious circumstances which would "flower" into what became the full fledged "reformation", and certainly his memory was seized upon by the Reformers. However, I do not think he himself would have identified with many of their fundamental ideals (but then again, they themselves did not all agree on their fundamental ideas; note the extreme antagonism between Luther and Calvin.)
However, I think it's hard not to lump them all in a very broad group, of those who were "protesting" against Roman Catholic decadence and invention...though I think we have to be careful, since you really are dealing with a large group that is not at all homogenus.
That and the fact that Hus was a follower of the heretic Wycliffe and refused to recant.
Yes, who was rebelling against the heretics in Rome (including the Papal chair), and their subordinates abroad. This is important to remember, as someone with an Orthodox p.o.v. "looking from the outside, in" on this period of history - we're not dealing with "good, Orthodox Rome" vs. it's "heterodox dissidents." They're all heretics, unfortunately, differing fundamentally in their doctrines from the Orthodox confession of the Church of Christ.
As for the Reformation itself...
Putting aside the very real political crises which brought on the Reformation (including the fall out of the "Great Western Schism" and it's rival "Popes" and the basic distrust of the Papacy and the "heirarchal church" that this caused), a great deal of the valid
polemic/criticism of the Protestants, was sadly comprimised (and ended in futility) for two basic reasons...
- they themselves laboured under the same basically Augustinian errors that their RC opponents did (if anything, their more extravagant errors were precisely
due to their being more
"Augustinian" than the RCC - for example, on the issue of predestination.) This also includes the attitude of theological creativity, which also infected the Protestants as it did their Roman Catholic "mother" (in the case of the Roman Catholics, this led to the "growth of the faith" via syllogistic reasoning - the invention of previously unknown doctrines; in the case of the Reformers, it created a "re-inventing the wheel" attitude).combined with
- No real link to the Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church; hence, while they could sense real, important divergences from the "ancient way" and Orthopraxis (based on what little documentary evidence of the west's one time Orthodoxy still remaining in their possession), they had no "bar" or "rule" to measure against, to know when they were attacking real accretions and divergences from the true Faith, or simply throwing the baby out with the bath water. Their intense distrust of heirarchal authority (which is the fault of Rome itself, and it's subordinate heirarchs) also disposed them (unfortunately) to widdle away at anything
that involved a real distinction between the clergy and laity, or the heirarchy being invested with special authority/charisms that the laity did not possess. Given this, they had no means to really differntiate between a "indulgence issuing heirarchy of men who differed little in way of life than temporal princes, save for their tenuous celibacy", and the ideal of a bishop who does none of these things, yet really is in possesion of the Priesthood (in a way the laity do not participate with), and charged to act as "overseer" of the Christians under his care.
Of course, none of this changes the fact that the different varieties of Protestantism are heretical
. But I think it does put them in context.
Perhaps the best thing we can say is this (from an Orthodox p.o.v.) - there would be no "Reformation" and it's excesses, without the Schism and excesses of the Papacy, from the Orthodox Church of Christ.