Pope Francis is battling to hold onto the position of pontiff after several dozen high-ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church have formally accused him of “spreading heresy” and being a false pope.
In a 25-page letter delivered to Pope Francis last month and provided to The Associated Press on Saturday, the 62 signatories issued a “filial correction” to the pope — a rare measure they said hadn’t been employed within the church since the 14th century.
The letter accused Francis of propagating seven “heretical positions” concerning “marriage, moral life and the sacraments” with his 2016 document The Joy of Love and subsequent “acts, words and omissions.”
Organizers said the last time such a correction was issued was to Pope John XXII in 1333 for errors which he later recanted.
ABC News reports:
The initiative follows another formal act by four tradition-minded cardinals who wrote Francis last year asking him to clarify a series of questions, or “dubbia,” they had about his 2016 text.
Francis hasn’t responded to either initiative. The Vatican spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Saturday.
Organizers said the initiative was nevertheless significant and a sign of the concern among a certain contingent of academics and pastors over Francis’ positions, which they said posed a danger to the faithful.
The move by senior Vatican clerics to declare Pope Francis a false pope comes one month after President Putin slammed Pope Francis for “pushing a political ideology instead of running a church”, and warned that the leader of the Catholic Church “is not a man of God.”
“Pope Francis is using his platform to push a dangerous far-left political ideology on vulnerable people around the world, people who trust him because of his position,” Putin said.
“If you look at what he (the Pope) says it’s clear that he is not a man of God. At least not the Christian God. Not the God of the Bible,” Putin said at the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Kronstadt in August.
“He dreams of a world government and a global communist system of repression.
“As we have seen before in communist states, this system is not compatible with Christianity.”