|Doctrines|| ||The Hussites followed
and developed the teachings of John Huss, a theologian at the University
of Prague who came under the influence of John Wycliffe's writings. Huss
taught that the true church consists of those predestined to salvation;
that Christ, not the Pope, is the head of the church; and that the Bible
alone provides the laws on which church life should be governed. Huss'
followers broke with the Roman Catholic Church by using a Czech liturgy
and by distributing both the eucharistic bread and wine to the laity. (It
was the practice of the Roman Catholic Church to administer bread alone to
|History|| ||Because of his open
support for Wycliffe, Huss was summoned to appear at the Council of
Constance in 1414. Although promised safe conduct, Huss was condemned as
a heretic and on 6 July 1415 was put to death by fire. After his death
Huss' supporters divided into two groups; the moderate Utraquists, who
forbade those practices which they considered to be prohibited by the
Bible, and the more extreme Taborites, who rejected all practices that
were not expressly supported by the bible. From 1420 the Roman Catholic
Church launched a series of unsuccessful crusades against the Hussites.
Peace negotiations began in 1431 which granted communion in both kinds to
the laity. This was accepted by the Utraquists but not by the Taborites.
The Utraquists and Catholics united and defeated the Taborites at the
battle of Lipany in 1434, thus ending any further Taborite influence. A
peace treaty signed in 1436 ensured the Utraquists their own independent
Catholic church. The Church of the Utraquist Hussites survived until 1620
when it was absorbed into the Roman Catholic Church.|
Following the first world war a further reform movement emerged within the Catholic Church in the newly formed state of Czechoslovakia. In 1920 the Czechoslovak Hussite Church was formed by a group of priests whose demand for a Czech liturgy and the abolition of celibacy among priests had been rejected among Rome.
|Symbols|| ||The cross to commemorate
the death and resurrection of Christ; bread and wine to commemorate the
Last Supper; water to commemorate Christ's baptism and the cleansing of
|Adherents|| ||Today the Czechoslovak
Hussite Church has 170,000 members (Europa Publications Limited 1994,
| ||Wuchterlova 5, 166 26 Prague 6.|