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Jerome of Prague and the Foundations of the Hussite Movement$

Thomas A. Fudge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190498849.001.0001

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(p.320) Appendix 8 Revocation of Jerome, Constance, September 23, 1415

(p.320) Appendix 8 Revocation of Jerome, Constance, September 23, 1415

Jerome of Prague and the Foundations of the Hussite Movement

Thomas A. Fudge

Oxford University Press

I, Jerome of Prague, master of arts, knowing and certainly understanding the Catholic church and the Apostolic faith, do curse and renounce every heresy and especially with respect to that which I have previously been accused and defamed, and which in the past Jan Hus and John Wyclif held and taught in their works, treatises, and sermons to the people and clergy. For this cause the said Wyclif and Hus, along with their doctrines and errors, were condemned by this synod of Constance as heretics, and all of the said doctrine was condemned, especially particular articles expressed in the sentences and judgments passed against them by this sacred council.

Also I further give assent and agree with the holy Roman Church, with the Apostolic See, and with this sacred council. With my mouth and heart I profess in all respects, and all things, particularly with respect to the keys, sacraments, orders, offices, ecclesiastical censures, pardons, relics of the saints, ecclesiastical liberty, ceremonies, and everything else pertaining to the Christian religion, as the Roman Church, the Apostolic See, and this sacred council do profess. I especially hold that many of the said articles are notoriously heretical and have been condemned for a long time by the holy fathers. Some of them are blasphemous, others erroneous, some are offensive to the ears of the godly, and many of them are rash and seditious. As such, the aforesaid articles have recently been condemned by this sacred council. All Catholics have been forbidden hereafter to preach, teach, hold, or maintain any of the said articles under pain of anathema. (p.321)

Moreover, I, the said Master Jerome, inasmuch as I have endeavored by means of the scholastic arts to persuade opinion concerning realities and universals, that one substance of the same species might signify many things subject under the same, and every one of them, as did Saints Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and likewise others, for the teaching thereof by a plain example, I described, as it were a certain triangular figure, which was called the Shield of Faith. Therefore to prevent any erroneous and wicked understanding which some might possibly gather thereof, I do say, affirm, and declare, that I did not make the said figure, neither did I name it the Shield of Faith, with the intent or purpose that I would extol or prefer the opinion of universals above the opposite opinion in such a manner that the Shield of Faith or an affirmation of it, was necessary in order for the Catholic faith to be defended or maintained. I would not personally or obstinately adhere to it. But the reason I referred to that figure by that name was to put forth an example, in the description of the triangle, that the divine essence consisted in three different persons, that is to say, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. I considered this article of the Trinity to be the main shield of faith and the foundation of Catholic truth.

Furthermore, so that it might be evident to everyone the causes for which I was reputed and thought to adhere to and approve of the said Jan Hus, I make it known to everyone by this representation, that when I heard him many times in his sermons and also in the schools, I believed that he was a very good man, and that he did not in any point contradict the traditions of our holy mother church or holy doctors. Inasmuch as when I was lately here in this city and the articles which I affirmed were shown to me, which had been condemned by the sacred council, at the first sight of them, I did not believe that they were his, or at the least not in that form. When I was told by certain famous doctors and masters of divinity that they were his articles, I demanded additional information and asked to have the books in his own handwriting shown to me wherein such things were said and where those articles were contained. When these books were shown to me, written in his own hand, which I knew as well as my own, I found that all of those articles were written in the same form in which they were condemned. Therefore, I do not unworthily judge or think of him and his doctrine along with those who adhere to them to be condemned by this sacred council as heretical and insane. All of this, on the basis of a pure mind and conscience, I do here pronounce and speak, being now fully and sufficiently informed of the previous sentences and judgments given by the sacred council against the doctrines of the said late John Wyclif and Jan Hus, and against their own persons, as a devout Catholic in all things, and by all things I do most humbly consent and agree. (p.322)

Also I, the same aforesaid Jerome, having previously before the reverend fathers and lord Cardinals and reverend lord prelates and doctors and other venerable persons of this sacred council in this same place, freely and willingly declare and expound my intent and purpose among other things, speaking of the church, I made a threefold distinction. As I later perceived, it was understood by some, that I implied faith in the church triumphant. I do firmly believe that there is a blessed vision of God which excludes doubtful understanding and knowledge. And now I also do state, affirm, and declare, that it was never my intention to prove that there should be faith in this or knowledge far exceeding faith. And generally whatsoever I have said, either there or at any time before, I now most humbly submit myself to the determination of this sacred Council of Constance.

Moreover I do swear both by the holy Trinity and also by the most holy gospel that I will forever remain and persevere without doubt in the truth of the Catholic Church. I declare that whoever by their doctrine and teaching, contravenes this faith together with their teachings, shall be judged worthy of eternal damnation. If I myself at any time (God forbid that I should) presume to preach or teach contrary thereunto, I will submit myself to the severity of the canons, and be delivered to eternal pain and punishment. Whereupon I deliver up this confession and profession willingly before this sacred general council and have subscribed and written all these things with my own hand.

Mansi, vol. 27, fols. 791–793; Hardt, vol. 4, cols. 501–506; and Šmahel/Silagi, pp. 237–241.