John Wycliff was an important figure in the history of Christianity in terms of prereformation.
He was born in 1328 and died in 1384. He was known as a controversial figure among the Roman Catholic Church, due to his seemingly rebellious statements and claims he aimed at the catholic priesthood.
Wycliff was a priest, theologian, English Scolastic Philosopher, biblical translator, and a professor at the University of Oxford, but most of all, he was known as an early reformer in the 14th century. He is also considered the forerunner of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century where figures like Martin Luther emerged. Wycliff often taught things that didn’t align with what the Catholic Church believed, and this caused a disdain toward Wycliff among the catholic heirarchy.
He spoke against the many common practices of the catholic church, such as Auricular Confession, Indulgences, church land ownership, and more. Wycliff strongly believed that God ultimately decides whether a person goes to heaven or hell after they die, and that there’s nothing you can do to change it. The catholic priesthood on the other hand, saw themselves as wielding partial authority in the judgment. Wycliff also spoke against Auricular Confession, which was a common practise in the catholic church where people would recieve forgiveness after confessing their sins to a priest. And for indulgences, Wycliff made the case that no amount of money can buy you forgiveness from God, and that priests have no authority to enact such practices according to the word of God.