Pope Francis has come under sever attack by dozen conservative Catholic scholars and clergy for “spreading heresy”.
The widely publicized, theologically dense letter was delivered to the Pope with 40 signatures on August 11, according to its organisers.
It has since gained 22 more signatures and was released to the public on Saturday.
In a press release, the organizers say they speak for “a large number” of clergy and lay Catholics who “lack freedom of speech.”
The letter does not accuse the Pope himself of being a heretic, but of supporting “heretical positions” on “marriage, the moral life and the Eucharist.”
Francis has not responded to the letter publicly and the Vatican declined to comment.
The letter’s organisers call their challenge a “filial correction” of the Pope by his “spiritual sons and daughters.”
“Church law itself requires that competent persons not remain silent when the pastors of the Church are misleading the flock,” the conservative Catholic clergy and scholars said.
Specifically, the letter charges Francis with promoting seven “heresies,” most notably through his openness to allowing some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
“Scandal concerning faith and morals has been given to the Church and to the world,” the letter states. It accuses the Pope of imposing “strange doctrines on the faithful,” and asks him to publicly correct his teachings.
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