Jan was the first Reformer, born in the land of Bohemia from where my great grandfather came. John Fremont is in my great Rose Family Tree. He is responsible for Oregon and California being in the Union he helped Reform from the evils of slavery. He did not wait for Jesus, who may have given Jan permission to reform his only European church which condoned slavery. Paul ‘The Deceiver’ told early Christians to remain slaves and honor their master and “accept their suffering for Christ’s sake.” Why?
The issue of slavery was one that was historically treated with concern by the Catholic Church. Throughout most of human history, slavery has been practiced and accepted by many cultures and religions around the world. Certain passages in the Old Testament sanctioned forms of slavery. The New Testament taught slaves to obey their masters, but this was not an endorsement of slavery, but an appeal to Christian slaves to honor their masters and accept their suffering for Christ’s sake, in imitation of him. In proclaiming baptism for all, the Church recognized that all men were fundamentally equal. After the legalisation of Christianity under the Roman Empire, there was a growing sentiment that many kinds of slavery were not compatible with Christian conceptions of charity and justice; some argued against all forms of slavery while others, including the influential Thomas Aquinas, argued the case for penal slavery subject to certain restrictions. The Christian west did succeed in almost entirely enforcing that a free Christian could not be enslaved, for example when a captive in war, but this itself was subject to continual improvement and was not consistently applied throughout history. The Middle Ages also witnessed the emergence of orders of monks such as the Mercedarians who were founded for the purpose of ransoming Christian slaves. By the end of the Medieval period, enslavement of Christians had been largely abolished throughout Europe although enslavement of non-Christians remained permissible, and had seen a revival in Spain and Portugal.
Jan Hus was born in Husinec, Bohemia, c. 1369. At an early age he traveled to Prague, where he supported himself by singing and serving in churches. His conduct was positive and his commitment to his studies was remarkable.
In 1393, Hus earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts at the University of Prague, and he earned his master’s degree in 1396. And in 1400, he was ordained as a priest. In 1402 Hus began preaching inside the city, demanding a reformation of the Church. He served as rector of the University of Prague in 1402–1403. He was appointed a preacher at the newly built Bethlehem Chapel around the same time. Hus was a strong advocate for the Czechs and the Realists, and he was influenced by the writings of John Wycliffe. Although church authorities banned many works of Wycliffe in 1403, Hus translated Trialogus into Czech and helped to distribute it.
Hus denounced the moral failings of clergy, bishops, and even the papacy from his pulpit. Archbishop Zbyněk Zajíc tolerated this, and even appointed Hus a preacher at the clergy’s biennial synod. On June 24, 1405, Pope Innocent VII, however, directed the Archbishop to counter Wycliffe’s teachings, especially the doctrine of impanation in the Eucharist. The archbishop complied by issuing a synod decree against Wycliffe, as well as forbidding any further attacks on the clergy.
In 1406, two Bohemian students brought to Prague a document bearing the seal of the University of Oxford and praising Wycliffe. Hus proudly read the document from his pulpit. Then, in 1408, Pope Gregory XII warned Archbishop Zajic that the Church in Rome had been informed of Wycliffe’s heresies and of the sympathies of King Wenceslaus IV for non-conformists. In response, the king and university ordered all of Wycliffe’s writings surrendered to the archdiocesan chancery for correction. Hus obeyed, declaring that he condemned the errors in those writings.
In 1408, the Charles University in Prague was divided by the Western Schism, in which Gregory XII in Rome and Benedict XIII in Avignon both claimed the papacy. Wenceslaus felt Gregory XII might interfere with his plans to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. He denounced Gregory, ordered the clergy in Bohemia to observe a strict neutrality in the schism, and said that he expected the same of the University. Archbishop Zajíc remained faithful to Gregory. At the University, only the scholars of the Bohemian “nation” (one of the four governing sections), with Hus as their leader, vowed neutrality.
Kutná Hora Decree
In January 1409, Wenceslaus summoned representatives of the four nations comprising the university to the Czech city of Kutná Hora to demand statements of allegiance. The Czech nation agreed, but the other three nations declined. The king then decreed that the Czech nation would have three votes in University affairs, while the “German nation” (composed of the former Bavarian, Saxon, and Polish nations) would have one vote in total. As a consequence of the changed voting, by May 1409 the German dean and rector were deposed and replaced by Czechs. The Palatine Elector called the Germans to his own University of Heidelberg, while the Margrave of Meissen started a new university in Leipzig. Probably over one thousand students and masters left Prague. The emigrants also spread accusations of Bohemian heresy. 
Antipope Alexander V
In 1409, the Council of Pisa tried to end the schism by electing Alexander V as Pope, but Gregory and Benedict did not submit. (Alexander was declared an “antipope” by the Council of Constance in 1418.)
Hus, his followers, and Wenceslaus IV transferred their allegiance to Alexander V. Under pressure from king Wenceslaus IV, Archbishop Zajíc did the same. Zajíc then lodged an accusation of “ecclesiastical disturbances” against Wycliffites in Prague with Alexander V.
On 20 December 1409, Alexander V issued a papal bull that empowered the Archbishop to proceed against Wycliffism in Prague. All copies of Wycliffe’s writings were to be surrendered and his doctrines repudiated, and free preaching discontinued. After the publication of the bull in 1410, Hus appealed to Alexander V, but in vain. The Wycliffe books and valuable manuscripts were burned, and Hus and his adherents were excommunicated by Alexander V.
Archbishop Zajíc died in 1411, and with his death the religious movement in Bohemia entered a new phase, during which the disputes concerning indulgences assumed great importance.