Let me introduce you to a friend. A guy named "The Goose."
This Goose was someone that the Catholic church wanted to keep quite. They wanted to shut him up. He was imprisoned, tortured and killed for his faith and ideas. Not only was he wanted dead, there was also a want to get rid of his ideas and teachings.
This Goose was a man named John Huss. Huss in Czech means goose. But there is a question that we must ask...Why was this goose cooked? What was he teaching that got the Pope and the Church so mad at him? What could he have been teaching that got him killed?
Here were some of those radical ideas...
...that the church was made up of all the predestined believers of all ages.
During the time of Wycliffe and Huss the official position of the church
was that the true church consisted of the Pope and the cardinals his
bishops and priests and that common lay people were not real members
but only communed with the church as they received communion, which
was limited to bread.
...that the authority of the Bible was higher than the authority of the
church. That was a radical idea in his day and it was an idea derived from
Wycliffe. This particular point is principally what got him killed and it is
interesting that his words regarding the authority of Scripture were later
to be repeated almost word for word by Luther.
...that Jesus Christ Himself was the head of the church and that
reprehensible lives disqualified men from their positions of authority in
ministry. He believed that Jesus was the head of the church and that
reprobate leaders were disqualified from leading the church.
He began to preach that the church was not made up of the Pope and his cardinals but was made up of the elect of all the ages. With that Huss lost the support of his king. He spent the next two years in feverish literary activity, composing a number of treatises. The most important was The Church, which he sent to Prague to be read publicly. In it he argued that Christ alone is head of the church, that a pope "through ignorance and love of money" can make many mistakes, and that to rebel against an erring pope is to obey Christ.
And so the debate still rages today...Who is the head? I think you would agree that it is Jesus Christ. In spite of what the Catholic church might say, their actions show that they view the Pope as the head of the Church and kill those who claim that Christ is.