History of the
History of the
Bohemian Brethren

History of the Utraquists

A.) Establishment and Early History (1457-1517)

In 1433 the moderate HUSSITES accepted the BASEL COMPACTATES and thus were reaccepted as members of the Catholic Church. The compactates, as one major concession, granted them to practice the eucharist in both kinds (in utraque species); hence they were referred to as UTRAQUISTS (also referred to as Calixtines). However, the papacy never recognized the Basel Compactates and later resumed a repressive policy. Bohemia meanwhile had declared the Basel Compactates state law.
The radical Hussites, generally referred to as TABORITES, rejected the Basel Compactates; they were defeated by the majority Utraquists in the BATTLE OF LIPPAU (1434). Bohemia now was split in a Catholic and an Utraquist community; remants of the radical Hussites later would reestablish themselves as the BOHEMIAN BRETHREN.

In 1457 GEORG VON PODIEBRAD, was elected King of Bohemia. Bishop Johannes Rokyzana of Prague previously had been declared a heretic, because he stuck to Utraquist belief; Podiebrad, when enfieffed with Bohemia by Emperor Frrederick III., had to swear to stick to Catholicism and to persecute heretics. Negotiations were held, on the return of church property confiscated by the Utraquists; in 1461, King Georg Podiebrad, under the influence of Bishop Rokyzana, swore an oath on Utraquism and on the defense of the Compactates. In 1462, Pope PIUS II. formally condemned the Compactates and demanded that Podiebrad would submit to papal authority. The papal nuncio was arrested and tortured at the command of Podiebrad. In 1463 Pope II excommunicated Podiebrad and called for a crusade against the Bohemian lands. King Matthias Hunyadi of Hungary attacked and in 1471 made himself master of Bohemia's sidelands Moravia and Silesia. King Wladislav II. (Ladislaus II.) was Catholic, but pursued a tolerant policy toward the Utraquists.

B.) The Utraquists 1517-1648

In a 1524 synod, the Utraquist church adopted many points of Lutheranism (two sacraments : baptism, communion; bible as main source; avolition of the mass). In 1539 JAN VON PERNSTEIN, in a memorandum, demanded of King Ferdinand politicak freedom of the Utraquist church; King Ferdinand however strove to reunite the Utraquists with the Catholic church (1549-1562). In the SCHMALKALDIC WAR (1547) the Utraquists sided with Bohemia's Catholics and supported the Imperial side. In 1575 a commission of the Bohemian diet drafted the CONFESSIO BOHEMICA, mainly supported by the OLD UTRAQUISTS (those who accepted King Ferdinand's attempt to lead them back into the fold of the Catholic church); while the Neo-Utraquists rejected it. In 1593 the KRALICE BIBLE (a Czech translation) was published. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the COUNTERREFORMATION was implemented in Bohemia, and the Neo-Utraquist community suffered severe repression.

Biography of Georg von Podiebrad, from BBKL
Article Utraquism, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Article Bohemia, from Catholic Encyclopedia
REFERENCE Mark Greengrass, The Longman Companion to the European Reformation c.1500-1618, Harlow (Essex): Longman 1998, pp.40f, 159ff KMLA Lib.Sign. 374.06 GB 121

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First on January 15th 2003, last revised on November 15th 2004

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