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http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2011/11/19/jan-hus-jerome-of-prague-and-orthodoxy-in-czechia-slovakia/

There is also an icon of Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague included here. The original Czech language version also has a link to a full Service in the event that their are glorified as Saints.

This is a controversial subject, to be sure. I've certainly had my knuckles rapped for raising it in the past, (e.g. by the Young Fogey and others who have gotten so angry with me that they have said that nothing I say - about anything, it would seem - should be trusted etc.).

But it is an issue that the Orthodox Church of the Czech Republic and of Slovakia is most certainly taking seriously. I present this link by way of a point of information.

Alex

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Good on you! It would be good to see some more ecumenical saints to the calendar

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Forgive me, but can someone enlighten me on the teachings of Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague?


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I'll give it a shot.

Jan Hus was an RC priest and rector of the University of Prague. He promoted the use of the national language in the liturgy, a married priesthood, Communion in both Kinds. He was also opposed to the German domination of Bohemia. Although he favoured the teachings of Wycliffe, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia and other sources, Hus gave Wycliffe's teaching a "Catholic inflection." In other words, Hus took the train that said "Wycliffe" but got off at the "Catholic" stop.

Hus was tried as a heretic at Constance where charges were brought against him, such as his teaching of "four persons in the Trinity" and other matters which he clearly never taught.

Hus was burned at the stake at Constance, forgiving his enemies and reciting the Creed and the Jesus Prayer. He became a national hero and saint, together with his associate, Jerome of Prague (who became an Orthodox Christian in Latvia and his Orthodox baptismal certificate has been discoverd in Riga). The High Church Utraquists of Bohemia venerated Hus, Jerome, Michal Polak, the 264 martyrs of Kutna Hora and others as saints.

The Orthodox Church of Czechia and Slovakia has seen itself as the heir of the Cyril and Methodian tradition (which it most certainly is) and it has, for years, commemorated the deaths of Hus and Jerome of Prague - who are, truth be told, national heros and, yes, saints in that region.

In the 19th century, Russian Orthodox theologians studying the Hussite phenomenon, concluded that Hus was trying to recover the lost Cyril-Methodian heritage of the Czech lands.

Blessed Pope John Paul II expressed his sorrow at the burning of Hus etc.

The RC Archbishop of Prague has made it a practice to attend the annual commemoration of Hus at Prague.

Matthew Spinka has authored several scholarly books on Jan Hus and the Council at Constance. I am informed that a movement to rehabilitate and even canonize Jan Hus is strong among German Catholic theological circles. It would seem that the Czech Orthodox Church is close to canonizing Hus and Jerome on the basis of the work of Russian Orthodox theologians of the 19th century i.e. that they represented a movement toward Orthodoxy and the Cyrillo-Methodian heritage that was taken over by RCism in Bohemia. The Czech Orthodox Church has written an icon of them and also the full Service for their Glorification.

Alex

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Interesting article, even though it has relatively little to do with Jan Hus. I observed that Metropolitan Christopher makes the statement:
Quote
Only at the end of the twentieth century did the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church, John Paul II, express his deep regret over [Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague's] burning at the stake. But he did not go beyond regret.
What he meant by this, I suppose, is that Bl. JP II did not take any formal steps to lift the excommunication against Jan Hus or to have his name cleared of all charges of heresy. However, I think that JP II's words addressed to an International Symposium on John Hus in December 1999 do go beyond mere "regret:"
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... I am particularly grateful to all of you who have contributed to the work of the ecumenical Commission "Husovsk√°," established some years ago by Cardinal Miloslav Vlk in order to identify more precisely the place that Jan Hus occupies among those who sought a reform of the Church ... Now that you have brought together the best and latest scholarly work on Jan Hus and the events in which he was involved, the next step will be to publish the results of the Symposium, so that as many people as possible will have an insight not only into a remarkable man but also into an important and complex period of Christian and European history.
For the Pope of Rome to call someone a "remarkable man" who for centuries has been regarded--and formally condemned--as a heretic, is pretty remarkable, in my book!


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Jan (or more commonly anglicized as John) Huss is regarded as their founder by the Moravians. July 6, the day of his martyrdom is kept as a holyday on the Moravian calendar--the only individual so commemorated--with the vestment color of red.

Huss also appears on the calendar of commemorations of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, both commemorating on July 6.

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For the Pope of Rome to call someone a "remarkable man" who for centuries has been regarded--and formally condemned--as a heretic, is pretty remarkable, in my book!

Yes, indeed!

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Now that you have brought together the best and latest scholarly work on Jan Hus and the events in which he was involved, the next step will be to publish the results of the Symposium

Now that my interest in Jan Hus has been sparked...two questions.

Where would I find information on the Symposium mentioned by Blessed JP II and two can anyone recommend a biography of Hus?

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I wonder if any of the EC Churches have any particular feelings toward them ... I'm thinking particularly of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church.

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It would be particularly difficult to canonize Hus, given that he rejected a large swath of Tradition, including the Eucharist.

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Dear Stuart,

In actual fact, while the Taborite Hussites did reject Tradition and the Eucharist, the Utraquist party did not.

As for Hus, historians agree that he was Catholic to the core and had a particular veneration for the Assumption of the Mother of God.

He did promote Communion under Both Kinds (although he never raised it to a level of dogma). He was against the various corruptions of the clergy as he found them and opposed German domination of Bohemia. He was also against the use of Czech resoures to fund wars.

Indeed, Russian Orthodox historians in the 19th century agreed that Hus and his later movement were all about a return to the Cyrillo-Methodian heritage that was the earlier tradition of the area, as we know.

But there is no question that he affirmed Tradition and called the Latin Church in his day to reform on the basis of Scripture and Tradition. There is no question that he affirmed the true doctrine of the Most Holy Eucharist and all other tenets of the Orthodox faith of the Catholic Church.

His condemnation for heresy is something that can be lifted. When the Czech Orthodox Church does glorify him (and they have already written the liturgical propers for the feast of "SS. Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague" to be used on July 6 and also on May 30th for Jerome of Prague alone - who died a baptized Orthodox Christian), it will bring together the Orthodox heritage of the Czech and Slovak lands with the Hussite chapter of its history that is now even being claimed by the RC Church there.

For too long, the Utraquist Hussite heritage - which was never Protestant but "Catholic without the pope" - has been seen in opposition to Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

That Orthodoxy sees its way clear to claim that heritage and connect it as part of its own today means, for me, that the Czech Orthodox Primate is really thinking with his "cupola" with respect to making Orthodoxy an integral part of the Czech/Slovak religious cultural experience.

Alex

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Dear Rev. Fr. Deacon Richard,

Yes, the response by His Beatitude was more about how the Czech Orthodox Church could see Hus and Jerome as Orthodox candidates for glorification.

Bl. John Paul the Great was always engaged in the debate on the impact of Hus in church history, if only for the reason that his Archdiocese of Cracow was influenced deeply by Hussitism in his hey-day.

Hus was declared a saint in Bohemia by the University of Prague which declaration was followed up by a wide public dissemination of his iconography - on the walls of churches and, it is said, a statue of him was set up in every second town and village throughout Bohemia.

The Jesuits moved to oppose the cult of John Hus by establishing the feast day of St John Nepomucene close to the festival of Hus.

They did something similar in western Ukraine when the cult of St Athanasius of Brest became popular among Eastern Catholics (because Athanasius stood up to the Poles etc.). The Jesuits there established the feast of St Josaphat of Polotsk on September 16th (rather than November 12th) or two days before the feast of St Athanasius - on the assumption that the faithful won't want to celebrate another major saint so soon after that of St Josaphat.

It was Bl. Pope John XXIII who ordered the downgrading of the feast of Nepomucene, essentially as a form of historical redress in this regard. And it was the Holy Hierarch Met. Andrew Sheptytsky who had the feast of St Josaphat restored to November 12th (25th on the old calendar).

Prof. Matthew Spinka has written several excellent historical books (e.g. John Hus at the Council of Constance) in a very irenical spirit and as part of the "rehabilitation movement" of Hus. It was Prof. Ff. Bilaniuk (+memory eternal!) who first described to me how strong this rehabilitation movement of Hus is in Germany in particular (the Germans were the ones clamouring for Hus's death the loudest).

Although he has been associated with the Protestant Reformation (it was Luther who said of Hus "he is my saint!"), and also due to his interest in Wycliffe (the New Catholic encyclopedia affirms that Hus gave Wycliffe a "Catholic inflection"), the Orthodox Church has had an enduring interest in Hus (as it has had in Savonarola who, in the Akathist to St Maximus the Greek, is actually referred to as "blessed Jerome" and St Maximus the Greek was a former disciple of Savonarola's).

The Hussite heritage is an integral part of the Czech spiritual heritage and it makes eminent good sense for the Czech Orthodox Church to want to relate itself to it and even claim it, as it now feels it legitimately can. In fact, for years, the Czech Orthodox Church has honoured Hus, Jerome, Michal Polak and the 24 Hussite priest-martyrs of Kutna Hora, together King George of Podebrady and others in public panakhydas.

I trust the Czech Orthodox Church to do the right thing in this regard (in fact, the Orthodox baptismal certificate of Jerome of Prague was discovered in Riga in Latvia - which would explain why, during his trial, Jerome kept saying he was in the "Holy Apostolic Orthodox faith" etc.).

Alex

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Yes, Matthew Spinka's "John Hus and the Council of Constance" and a number of other works of his.

Alex

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Dear Peter,

Hus is a national hero for the Czechs especially but also for the Slovaks and others.

When the Hussite movement took root, five papal armies went north to put it down. But under the expert military leadership of the Hussite commander Jan Zizka, they were repelled five times . . .

The Hussites struck up an alliance of sorts with Ukrainians under the leader of the future Orthodox Saint, Theodore (Ven. Theodosius in Schema) Prince of Ostrozhky.

Theodore adopted Hussite military tactics to great effect until he later retired to the Kyivan Caves Lavra as a monk.

In the 19th century, there was the Cyrillo-Methodian literary movement which saw John Hus as part and parcel of their aims. This is why the Ukrainian poet and bard, Taras Shevchenko, included verses in honour of Hus in his poem in honour of Shafarik.

Shevchenko writes of Hus:

Receive my duma-poem about
The Holy Czech
The Great Martyr
The Glorious Hus!

And I will pray that all Slavs may become as heretical as the Great Heretic of Constance!

Alex

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
... When the Hussite movement took root, five papal armies went north to put it down ...
shocked

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
... Shevchenko writes of Hus:

Receive my duma-poem about
The Holy Czech
The Great Martyr
The Glorious Hus!

And I will pray that all Slavs may become as heretical as the Great Heretic of Constance!

Alex
biggrin

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