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Pope Francis' letter to Stephen Walford Pope Francis' letter to Stephen Walford 

Pope Francis writes a personal letter to Stephen Walford

Pope Francis responds to the gift of a book with a personal letter to Stephen Walford, and provides the preface to the book which is a defense the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

Pope Francis met with author Stephen Walford and his family on July 27, 2017. During that visit, Mr Walford gave him a copy of his book, later published as Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce: in Defense of Truth and Mercy. The Pope responded to a few questions Mr Walford proposed with a personal letter.

Pope writes from the heart

In the letter, the Pope responds “happily”, and “freely”, writing “what is in my heart” to questions proposed by Mr Walford. He recounts that Amoris Laetitia came after a long synodal process which he calls an “ecclesial journey” in which every facet of the Church participated, “prayed, reflected and, with simplicity, offered various contributions”.

Pope on Amoris Laetitia

Pope Francis then discloses that what “most impressed me in this whole process was the desire to seek God’s will in order to better serve the Church”. He stressed the fact that the Amoris Laetitia needs to be read in its entirety because “there is a development both of theological reflection and of the way in which problems are approached”. Otherwise, “it will either not be understood, or it will be distorted”, he writes.

“Your book will be helpful”

The Pope concluded his letter saying that Mr Walford’s book “will be helpful to families” and that he is praying for that. Then he asks Mr Walford to “pass on my best wishes to your wife and your children”, to “thank them for their witness”, and “do not forget to pray for me!"

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23 August 2018, 12:29