Pope Francis on Friday published much-anticipated new guidelines on family life and called for a Church that is more understanding towards what he said were imperfect Catholics, including those who are divorced and remarried. In a 260-page treatise released by the Vatican called Amoris Laetitia, or The Joy of Love, the pope said that "no one can be condemned forever". The document, which was three years in the making, is based on two Synods and was eagerly awaited by Roman Catholics around the world, said the BBC. It lists the pontiff's views on family life, marriage, contraception and raising children.

Francis quoted people such as Martin Luther King in calling for a more merciful and loving Church, reported Reuters. The pontiff, however, did not change his view on same-sex marriage, but said that gays should be respected.