What I find strange about the almost uncritical connection many Protestants and Anglicans still make between the doctrines of the Lutheran movement and the idea of reform in the Church is the fact that the theological antecedents to Lutheranism were already condemned nearly a century earlier, not by a triumphalist papacy, but by the conciliarist reform council of Constance. If you were an orthodox churchman in the first half of the 16th c., whether you were a reformer (not to be confused with Evangelical) or a staunch curialist, you regarded Wycliffe and Huss simply as notorious heretics condemned by the very spirit of reform which saw the elimination of heresy as one goal in the renewal of the Church. Even the reformed and anti-scholastic chancellor of the University of Paris, Jean de Gerson - admired by Luther - unquestioningly joined in the prosecution and condemnation of Huss. It must have seemed to many if not most of Luther’s contemporaries that he was suggesting the outrageous idea that heresy can accomplish reformation. They, of course, saw these things as antithetical. Their reasoning was that reform meant not a change in doctrine but a return to authentic practice based upon the orthodox doctrine of the Church.
What we fail to perceive after four centuries of denominational fracturing, conflict and now dialogue, modernism, historical consciousness, etc. is the absurdity and revulsion with which the suggestion of a change in doctrine would have been met at the end of the Middle Ages.