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News > World

New Letter to Catholic Bishops Denounce Pope Francis as Heretic

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives for the weekly general audience at the Vatican, May 1, 2019.

    Pope Francis waves as he arrives for the weekly general audience at the Vatican, May 1, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 May 2019
Opinion

This latest ultra-conservative endeavor against the pontiff accuses him of the “canonical delict of heresy” because of his stance over a range of topics as divorce, homosexuality, and approach to other faiths.

A group of 29 conservative Catholic priests, scholars and theologians have issued an open letter to all Catholic bishops around the world accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy, asking them to take the necessary decisions.  

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“We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church,” reads the 20-page letter. 

This latest ultra-conservative endeavor against the pontiff accuses him of the “canonical delict of heresy” because of his stance over a range of topics as divorce, homosexuality, and approach to other faiths. A significant part of it concentrates on “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), a 2016 papal document that is a cornerstone of Francis’ attempt to make the Church more inclusive and less condemning.

For instance, the document attacks him for having once said that the intentions of Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, “were not mistaken.” It also says he has not condemned abortion strongly enough and is too lenient with homosexual Catholics.

It also criticizes a common statement made with a prominent Muslim leader in Abu Dhabi in February which said the pluralism and diversity of religions was “willed by God.” As well as Francis’ call to be more accepting and loving to those “imperfect” members of the Church. 

Yet it is true the Catholic Church does face one of its worst crises in history, but it is most arguably due to the unmountable evidence and denounces of sexual abuse done by priests and religious authorities. While Pope Francis’ more open approach to the religion has been largely praised throughout the world.

The pontiff is a powerful voice, as he leads 1.3 billion people. Through his six-year time as pope, Francis has critiqued capitalism saying it  “gives a moral cloak to inequality,” has called for respect to other religions and has quoted Simon Bolivar calling for the "Great Homeland" and remembering that Latin America is no ones "backyard." In a 2015 document, the Catholic Supreme priest also called to reduce fossil fuels and use clean energy.

Actions that, all together, are not approved by the conservative Catholics request that authorities take "the necessary steps to deal with the grave situation of a heretical pope."

This new document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has “effectively upheld seven heretical positions about marriage, the moral life and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.” And it is the third stage in a process that began in the summer of 2016.

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