(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday met with representatives of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, on the occasion of the six hundredth anniversary of the death of the reformer Jan Hus.
Listen to Lydia O’Kane's report
In his prepared remarks to the delegation from the Czech Republic, Pope Francis told them that this meeting marking the 600 anniversary of Jan Hus was an opportunity to renew and deepen relations between their Church communities.
Jan Hus was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the sixteenth century and was burnt at the stake for heresy.
The Holy Father recalled the words of his predecessor Pope St. John Paul II, about this Church reformer when he expressed his "deep regret for the cruel death imposed on him.
Pope Francis continued by saying that it was necessary to continue to study the person and work of Jan Hus, because today he had become an incentive for dialogue to all Christians and to society, even beyond the borders of the Czech nation.
Recalling his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, and the work of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope reiterated the importance of Church renewal and unity especially, he said, in the area of evangelization at a time when many men and women seem indifferent to the joyful news of the Gospel.
In conclusion, Pope Francis said that “in answering the call of Christ to continual conversion, of which we all need, we can move forward together on the path of reconciliation and peace.”