The following comes from a February 27 article by Nicole Winfield published in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Full article here.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A whodunit is making the rounds at the Vatican.

The publisher of a book on traditional Catholic marriage is crying foul, saying someone apparently swiped upward of 100 copies of the book from the Vatican mailboxes of bishops who attended a meeting on family issues last October.

The publisher sent the books to attendees to counter progressive proposals by one of Pope Francis’ favorite theologians to let divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. The book, penned by five high-ranking, conservative cardinals, argues that the suggestion is essentially moot since it is contrary to Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

The Vatican spokesman insists the books were delivered without impediment.

But the mystery remains: What happened to the books?

“Only a few reached synod fathers at their mailboxes in the Vatican,” said the Rev. Joseph Fessio of publisher Ignatius Press.

The books were mailed on the eve of the October synod on the family, a major meeting called by Pope Francis to discuss how the church can better minister to Catholics, including gays and divorced people. The meeting laid bare divisions between progressive prelates seeking a more welcoming, pastoral approach, and conservatives seeking to uphold church doctrine.

Francis had asked Cardinal Walter Kasper to get the debate a year ago, and Kasper posed some provocative questions about how the church could apply a more pastoral approach to Catholics who remarry without getting a church annulment — a decree that their first marriage was null.

The mystery underscores the divisiveness of the debate and the conspiracy theories that ran rampant during the synod, with accusations that meeting organizers were angling to favor a more progressive outcome. Such tensions will likely only rise before the second round of discussions starting in October.