Catholic Survey Topics Include Gay Marriage & Divorce

12:47 AM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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  • The Vatican - The Catholic Church is asking Bishops to survey parishioners about topics ranging from gay marriage to divorce.

    It is information Bishops will take to next year's Synod, or meeting, on "the family."

    The Vatican wants to know how Catholic clergy and lay people around the world view topics including gay marriage, contraception, divorce and same-sex adoption. The survey, sent to Bishops last month, includes 39 questions.

    Its intent is to get the widest response possible so church leaders can use that information for a major meeting on the family that Pope Francis has planned for next year.

    "The first thing that is going to happen in 2014 is kind of take the temperature of the situations of families and marriage and all these irregular situations as well. The challenges to spreading Christian faith and inculcating the teaching of the church on marriage and the family," says Robert Mickens who works for "The Tablet," a Catholic newspaper.

    The survey also specifically asks how Catholics who have divorced and remarried should be treated by the church.

    But, even if a majority of Catholics express dissenting opinions from church doctrine, Vatican officials said this week not to expect quick changes of church rules.

    The Cardinal who is coordinating the meeting says: "We don't have a desire to re-open all the discussions on Catholic doctrine."

    The Vatican says it will be up to Pope Francis to decide what to do with the results, which offers more proof of the Pope's push to reach out to ordinary Catholics.

    "I think that this idea of taking a risk is something certainly that has been encouraged by Pope Francis who has said 'I don't want a church that is closed in on itself but a church that is accident prone' that means it is alive, it is willing to go out to listen, to accept and to be in dialogue with the world," says Mickens.

    The Catholic Church in England and Wales posted the survey online for anyone to take and is asking for responses by the end of the month.

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