The genesis of this work calls for a word of explanation. Just before the 1993 Symposium in Rome to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the promulgation of the post-conciliar Code of Canon Law, Rik Torfs published an article rather critical of my jurisprudence. Noting his name on the list of participants at the Symposium, I looked him up. And there, in the Paul VI Hall, we immediately started to argue, as I presume all Irish and Flemish do on meeting. Thus began what has proved to be an interesting, challenging, and very enjoyable friendship.

Not long afterwards Prof. Torfs became Dean of the Canon Law Faculty at the University of Louvain, and invited me to go there to give a course of lectures to their faculty. The outcome was that I spend a week at Louvain in 1995, dealing with the topic of "Canon Law and Married Personalism", spread over ten lectures to the Canon Law Faculty. Prof. Torfs again had the kindness and interest to attend the whole course; so this naturally opened up the opportunity to weigh more deeply our diverging - or converging - viewpoints. Over lunch on the last day, I told him that I hoped to prepare my text for eventual publication; and wondered if he would care to join in, offering a critical response, and so we could turn the whole thing into a debate. He accepted right away. And here at last is our joint effort.