Last Saturday, members of the clergy and lay scholars from around the world issued to Pope Francis a formal filial correction, the first in over six hundred years since the filial correction of Pope John XXII in 1333.
The filial correction is a twenty-five page letter entitled Correctio Filialis De Haeresibus Propagatis, Latin for “Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies.” The letter was delivered to the Supreme Pontiff to his residence in Santa Marta on August 11th and made public on September 23rd after receiving no official response.
62 various clergy members and lay scholars have signed the letter, including Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of Saint Pius X. In the letter, its signatories accuse Pope Francis of holding “7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments.”
Composed in three parts, the letter cites his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia along with “other, related, words, deeds and omissions,” as the basis for its writing.
The first part of the letter outlines the basis why the 62 signatories believe they have the right and duty to issue such a filial correction to Pope Francis. They say they are not in conflict with papal infallibility, as Pope Francis has not met the criteria for his positions to be considered infallible.
The second part lists the passages of Amoris Laetitia they believe to contain heretical positions, and how they believe through its wording it is Pope Francis’ intention that these passages be interpreted in a heretical manner.
In the final part of the letter, the signatories discuss what they believe to be the cause for supposed heretical positions. They reference both modernism and the influence of Martin Luther as causes.
It finishes with the letter stating that their filial correction is not an accusation of formal heresy, and that they have no authority to determine if formal heresy has occurred, and if it did occur they do not have the authority to determine if Pope Francis is culpable.
The full text of the document and the list of its 62 signatories can be found here.