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Rome Reports

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Book examines themes from pope's document on family

Stephen Walford has written the book “Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy.” It attempts to delve deeper into the debate over Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia.”

“I really wanted to get involved in this and try to explain it from different angles of moral theology and tradition. So people could hopefully understand in a better way what the pope was trying to teach here.”

The book delves into the history of the Church's discussion on limits to a person receiving communion. A musician by profession, Stephen has always been passionate about the history of Church teaching.

Stephen and his family privately met with the pope on July 27, 2017. Afterward, Stephen received a personal letter from Pope Francis responding to his question over “Amoris Laetitia.”

“I gave him a letter in Spanish and I asked if he would possibly consider contributing. I spent the rest of my holiday in Rome praying at various tombs of the saints and the popes, asking God to let him say yes. So when I came home, a few days later, there was this large envelope with a personal letter from the pope.”     

Pope Francis' letter is now a part of the preface of Stephen's new book. In the letter, Pope Francis encourages one to read “Amoris Laetitia” as a whole, rather than one part. 

Although Stephen's book was written with the intention for all people to read, he hopes it will help deepen the debate on those in complicated marital situations.