Sixty-two scholars and priests have issued a “filial correction” of Pope Francis, saying that his words and actions risk leading Catholics into false doctrines.

The signatories emphasised that they do not accuse the Pope of committing the personal sin of heresy, or the canonical crime. But they claimed that the publication of Amoris Laetitia, and the Pope’s subsequent words and actions, have led to the spread of “heresies and other errors”.

Most of the document’s first signatories were academics. They include Mgr Prof Antonio Livi, formerly rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; Prof Thomas Stark, who teaches at the Benedict XVI Academy of Philosophy and Theology in Austria; and Claudio Pierantoni of the University of Chile.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX, is also a signatory, as is Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, former Vatican bank president.

Others have since added their names to the letter, including retired US Bishop René Henry Gracida, a friend of St John Paul II and Mother Angelica, and Fr Andrew Pinsent, a priest-scientist who teaches at Oxford University.

The text, which was sent to the Pope a month ago, addresses him in language unprecedented in modern Catholic history: “With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness.”

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