Roberts Liardon tells us that King Vaclav saw the election of yet another pope as his golden opportunity. He had a plan. He hoped that if he could align himself with the new pope, Alexander V, and gain his favor by taking a leading role in the schism, he might win back his right to contend for the title of the Holy Roman Emperor.
So in 1409, Vaclav shifted his allegiance from Gregory XII to Alexander V and commanded Zbynek to do the same. Zbynek was then ordered to remove any trace of heresy in Bohemia, clearing the way for Vaclav’s election as emperor.
Roberts Liardon tells us that Zbynek grew even more bitter at Vaclav for changing allegiance to Alexander V. At first, he refused to do it. The king was furious that Zbynek sought to disobey him. When Zbynek remembered the king’s murderous personality, he thought better of his decision, changed his allegiance to Alexander V, and sought all-out vengeance against any heresy in Bohemia. That made Hus one of Zbynek’s main targets.
Alexander V issued an order condemning Wycliffe’s books and prohibiting preaching in any place except a Catholic cathedral or a monastery. This was directed at Hus because his chapel was the only place not deemed a cathedral.
It seemed that the king and Zbynek were going to make some headway with the new pope. But before Vaclav could gain the favor of the new pope and Zbynek could get into full swing against Hus,Alexander V was found dead. He had been poisoned!
John XXIII was installed as the new pope in place of Alexander V. He had originally been passed over, with Alexander V winning out over him. History states that John poisoned Alexander V. As you can gather, John XXIII was an evil man. When he had been the bishop in Naples, his secretary confirmed that he seduced two hundred virgins, matrons, widows, and nuns. He taxed everything, including prostitution. And now, he was the new pope! Zbynek was still enforcing Alexander’s order, but Hus ignored it from the beginning. You remember what he believed about preaching; he felt the pope had no authority to tell anyone where they could preach. Hus argued that the order was invalid because the pope who issued it was dead.