“We must walk united with our differences:
there is no other way to become one.
This is the way of Jesus.”
Pope Francis' latest surprise: a survey on the modern family – 11/5/13
Pope Francis is shaking things up again.
The pontiff with a penchant for surprises is making new waves by launching a survey of his flock on issues facing modern families — from gay marriage to divorce.
Very specific questions are being sent to parishes around the globe in preparation for next year's synod of bishops, a grassroots effort that experts say is unprecedented.
"It's fascinating," said Thomas Groome, a professor of theology at Boston College.
"It's pretty astonishing," agreed Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of the gay Catholic organization DignityUSA.
Vatican watchers say Francis' polling attempt is extraordinary on two levels: first, because it seeks input from rank-and-file Roman Catholics and second, because it touches on issues that might have been considered off-limits in past papacies…
Vatican surveys Church on family issues including gay marriage – 11/1/13
(Reuters) - The Vatican is asking bishops and parish priests around the world about local views on gay marriage, divorce and birth control ahead of a meeting of bishops next year to discuss Roman Catholic Church teachings related to the family.
While it is common practice to send out surveys ahead of such meetings, known as synods, the questionnaire demonstrates a greater sensibility to issues once considered taboo, like how to include the adopted children of gay couples in the Church.
It also shows Pope Francis is reaching out to local parishes and not relying solely on the Church hierarchy on how to implement Catholic teachings…
With Survey, Vatican Seeks Laity Comment on Family Issues – 11/8/13
ROME — Often, when the Vatican speaks, it can be a fairly one-sided conversation, issuing encyclicals and other formal documents stating the Roman Catholic Church’s official position on doctrine or other matters.
But Pope Francis, who has already shaken up the Vatican, is asking the world’s one billion Catholics for their opinions on a questionnaire covering social issues like same-sex marriage, cohabitation by unwed couples, contraception, and the place of divorced and remarried people in the church…
Vatican Seeks ‘Widespread’ Input On Marriage, Family Life Issues – 11/18/13
Bishops around the world are being asked to take a realistic look at the situation of families under their care and at how effective pastoral and educational programs have been at promoting church teaching on sexuality, marriage and family life. The preparatory document for the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, which will be held in October 2014, ends with 38 questions about how church teaching is promoted, how well it is accepted and ways in which modern people and societies challenge the Catholic view of marriage and family…
The Vatican sends questionnaire on gay sex and contraception to Catholics around the world – 11/5/13
The Catholic Church is seeking the opinions of ordinary people on gay unions, contraception and sex before marriage, in an extraordinary bid to become more ‘credible’.
A questionnaire has been sent from the Vatican polling lay parishioners as well as bishops and theologians on its teachings on all issues affecting families and relationships including divorce and single parent families.
The 38-question survey, which comes ahead of a meeting of the Synod on the Family in 2014, is the first time that the church has asked these questions of ordinary people since the 1960s…
Pope Francis Summons Catholics to Respond to Global Survey, Asks Questions on Gay Marriage, Divorce, Birth Control – 11/6/13
Pope Francis continues to shake the very portals of the Roman Catholic faith. In what could be a first for the secular religion, Catholics around the world have been summoned to respond to a global survey which has bravely listed questions on gay marriage, divorce and birth control, among others…
Pope survey asks about same-sex unions, contraception – 11/6/13
VATICAN CITY, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A Vatican survey asks Roman Catholics in parishes worldwide how they deal with issues such as contraception, same-sex unions, divorce and sex before marriage…
The synod turns sexy; statistics in a global war – 11/8/13
If proof were ever needed of how much Pope Francis has captured the interest of the global media, the fact that over the past week, a Synod of Bishops, of all things, has emerged as a sexy news story ought to deliver it.
I've covered eight synods from soup to nuts, and while they've all been useful sounding boards, none has ever really taken the world by storm. Generally, they're insider stories, covered by specialists and ignored by pretty much everyone else…
No consensus on meaning of Vatican synod questionnaire – 11/5/13
Washington -- Nearly a week after news that the Vatican has asked for the world's bishops to distribute among Catholics a questionnaire on issues like contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce "immediately" and "as widely as possible," there is no consensus on what that direction means.
Moreover, comparing notes from recent Vatican statements, it is hard to decipher whether the call for consultation is unprecedented or something that's happened for decades...
Pope Francis Orders Survey Of Catholics On Hot-Button Social Issues – 11/6/13
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — In an unprecedented move to survey parishioners, Pope Francis is calling on bishops to see what Catholics think about matters facing modern families, including many issues that go against the norm of the church…
QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE FAMILY
III EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
PASTORAL CHALLENGES TO THE FAMILY
IN THE CONTEXT OF EVANGELIZATION
Vatican questionnaire for the synod on the family – 10/30/13
Preparatory document and questionnaire released ahead of 2014 Synod on the family – 11/5/13
(Vatican Radio) The preparatory document for next year’s Synod of Bishops on the Family was formally released at a news conference in the Vatican on Tuesday. The synod’s theme is “The pastoral challenges to the Family in the context of Evangelization and it will run from the 5th to the 19th of October 2014. The document gives an overview of Church teaching on the family and spells out in a frank manner the many daunting challenges facing the family in today’s society, saying there is an urgency for the Church to address these challenges. The document also includes a questionnaire or consultation containing 39 questions on family issues that has been sent to bishops conferences around the world asking them to share it as widely as possible so that input from local sources can be received…
Vatican asks for parish-level input on synod document – 10/31/13
Washington -- The Vatican has asked national bishops' conferences around the world to conduct a wide-ranging poll of Catholics asking for their opinions on church teachings on contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce.
Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican's Synod of Bishops, asked the conferences to distribute the poll "immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received."
The poll, which comes in a questionnaire sent to national bishops' conferences globally in preparation for a Vatican synod on the family next October, is the first time the church's central hierarchy has asked for such input from grass-roots Catholics since at least the establishment of the synod system following the Second Vatican Council…
Vatican releases questionnaire to prepare for Synod on families – 11/5/13
November 5, 2013 (Romereports.com) The first Synod Pope Francis convened will deal with the topic of families, and is divided in two phases. On October 2014, the presidents of the episcopal conferences will meet to discuss the issue. A year later, in 2015, bishops and experts from across the world will travel to Rome to hash out the pastoral details…
The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales has set up an online survey that Catholics in their countries can use to respond to the Vatican questions. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=28hu/J2JI4/LljHhhQ%2B7btPhJ7Sl5dGuwh4BDJBRJug%3D
Vatican launches world survey on modern family life – 11/5/13
Pope Francis is calling bishops to Rome next October to discuss possible reform that considers modern social realities.
The questionnaire asks for local views on premarital cohabitation, birth control and gay marriage.
Correspondents say it shows a greater interest in issues previously considered taboo.
"The social and spiritual crisis, so evident in today's world, is becoming a pastoral challenge in the Church's evangelising mission concerning the family," the Vatican survey says…
A Big Heart Open to God – 9/30/13
The exclusive interview with Pope Francis
“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.
“How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organizational reforms are secondary—that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.
“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.”
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