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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/158

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Vitus which is now nearing completion. Parlor also erected the Teynkirche (Teyn church) in Prague, and the church of St. Barbara in Kutzenberg, while Matthias of Anras built the fortress-castle of Karlstein. The crown jewels of Bohemia were preserved in the sumptuous chapel at Karlstein. But Bohemia had a sudden fall from the height it had attained. King Wenzel (Wenceslaus), son of Charles IV, had no control of his temper, and began a quarrel with the archbishop. The archbishop's vicar-general, John of Pomuk (St. John Nepomucene), refused to tell what he had heard in confession. He was first tortured and then, gagged and bound, was thrown at night into the River Moldau. At this time the first signs appeared in Bohemia of a religious agitation which was destined to bring the greatest sorrow both to Bohemia and to the adjoining countries. Jerome of Prague had become acquainted with the writings of Wyclif at Oxford. He returned home, bringing the teachings of Wyclif with him, and communicated them to his friend Hus. Hus came from Husinetz near Prachatitz. He was the child of a peasant, and had become professor of philosophy at the University of Prague, preacher in the Bohemian language at the Bethlehem chapel, and confessor to Queen Sophia. A complaint was brought in the university against Hus on account of his teaching. Of the four "Nations" (Saxons, Bavarians, Poles, and Bohemians), which had votes in the affairs of the university, only the Bohemians voted for Hus. Hus then turned a personal into a national affair. King Wenzel issued a command that henceforth the Bohemians should have three votes, and the other "Nations" only one vote. Upon this 5,000 students and the German professors withdrew and founded the University of Leipzig. The university was now simply a national one, and Hus without interference taught the following doctrines: the church consists only of the elect; no man is temporal ruler, no man is a bishop, if he be in mortal sin; the papal dignity is an outcome of the imperial power; obedience to the church is the invention of men. Hus was suspended by Archbishop Zbinko; he appealed to the pope (Alexander V) and then to Jesus Christ. John XXIII placed Hus under the ban, Prague under an interdict, and called the Council of Constance. The Emperor Sigismund gave Hus a safe-conduct which protected him from acts of violence on the part of the indignant Germans through whose territory he must pass, but not from the verdict of the council. Hus was repeatedly examined before the council, but would not retract his opinions; the members of the council, therefore, unanimously condemned his errors and delivered him to the secular power, by which, in accordance with the law of the land at the time, he was condemned to death at the stake (1415). Jerome of Prague suffered the same death the next year. While at Constance Hus sanctioned the receiving of the sacrament in both kinds which had been introduced by Master Jacob of Miez (Calixtines). As a former monk, John of Selau, was leading a procession a stone was thrown at him from a window of the town hall. The throng, led by the knight John Zizka of Trocnov, attacked the town hall and threw the judge, the burgomaster, and several members of the town council out of the window into the street, where they were killed by the fall. This is known in history as the "First Defenestration of Prague". King Wenzel was so excited by the episode that he was struck with apoplexy and died. The Hussite wars caused fearful devastation not only in Bohemia, but in the adjacent countries as well. Fortunately, the Hussites divided into the more moderate Calixtines, under John of Rokyzana, and the "Taborites", so called from the city and mountain which they named Tabor. The Taborites were led by John Zizka and Procopius the Great, who was also called the "Shaven" (Iloly) because he had been a monk. After Zizka's death the extreme radicals took the name of "Orphans" because no one was worthy to take Zizka's place. They were finally conquered, and an agreement, called the Compactata (Treaty of Iglau) based on the Four Articles of Prague, was made with the moderate party (1436). The Compacta provided: that in Bohemia everyone who demanded it should receive Holy Communmion under both kinds; mortal sins should be punished, but only by legal authorities; the Word of God should be freely expounded by clergy appointed for the purpose; ecclesiastics should manage their property according to the rules of the church. After this, Hussitism lived on in the "Bohemian Brethren", who elected a bishop at Lhota near Reichenau (1467), and were finally carried into the current of the Reformation.

In Hungary Christian culture flourished during the reign of the House of Anjou. Louis the Great founded universities at Altofen and Funfkirchen, and built the fine cathedral at Kaschau. When Constantinople was captured by the Turks (29 May, 1453), a cry of horror resounded throughout Europe, and the pope sent forth John Capistran to preach a crusade. The saintly monk came with an immense following from Italy to Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary. He preached in the open, as the churches could not hold his hearers. A stone pulpit with a statue of the saintly Capistran stands on the east side of St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna. A hundred thousand people crowded the square and the roofs of the houses to hear him. This was the more remarkable because Capistran preached in Latin. Yet all who saw and heard him were moved to their innermost souls. The Turks, in 1456, tried to capture Belgrad, the key to Hungary. The papal legate, John Carvajal, and John Capistran raised a crusading army with which John Hunyady was able to defeat, at Belgrad, a Turkish army much more numerous. This was called the "Battle of the Three Johns". Hunyady and Capistran died shortly afterwards from camp fever. Hunyady's son had been educated by John Vitez, Bishop of Grosswardein, afterwards Archbishop of Gran. This prelate instilled such a love of learning into his pupil that when the latter ascended the throne as Matthias Corvinus, he gathered learned men about him, re-established the decayed university at Ofen, and founded a new university at Pressburg. Thirty copyists were kept busy at Ofen transcribing the Greek and Latin classics. The volumes, which were beautifully illuminated anbd handsomely bound, were known as Corvinian books.

C. Modern Times—If in analyzing church history Christian antiquity is taken to represent the period of the life and labours fo the Church among the peoples influenced by Greek and Roman civilization, and the Middle Ages the period of the Church's life and labours among the Germans and the nations which came into contact with them, then the modern period of history must be taken as that in which the influence of the Church began to extend throughout the whole world. Modern times would, according to this theory, begin with the discovery of the New World. But if the beginning of the modern era is made, as it usually is, to coincide with the Reformation, then it is further marked by the rise of that monarchy which was formed by the union of the Austrian, Slavonian, and Hungarian provinces under the Hapsburgs in 1526.

Ferdinand of Hapsburg, the ruler of the German-Austrian crown provinces, had married, at Linz, Anna of Hungary and Bohemia. When Anna's brother, Louis II, was killed in the desperate battle of Mohács (1526), Ferdinand of Austria succeeded by right of inheritance and election as King of Bohemia