Pope Francis surveys his flock on issues facing modern families

Family Law|November 14th 2013

The head of the Catholic Church has surprised the international community by launching a survey covering topics such as gay marriage and divorce, NBC News reports.

The questions are being sent to parishes across the globe in preparation for next year’s Synod of Bishops, to gauge the attitudes of Catholics towards issues previously deemed too controversial to debate.

The note sent to every nation’s Bishops’ Conference states that the ancient church and its members are grappling with “concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago.”

Same-sex unions, mixed marriages, single parent families and surrogate mothers are all mentioned in the list of areas of concern. The list also includes the below:

  • “What pastoral attention can be given to people who live in these types of [same-sex] union?”
  • “In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?”
  • “Do [the divorced and remarried] feel marginalized or suffer from the impossibility of receiving the sacraments?”
  • “In cases where non-practising Catholics or declared non-believers request the celebration of marriage, describe how this pastoral challenge is dealt with.”

Pope Francis has already received widespread praise, and criticism from conservatives, for his comments about gays, women, atheists and priestly celibacy.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first time in the history of the magisterium have genuinely attempted to consult the laity,” said Thomas Groome, a professor of theology at Boston College.

“At least he’s started the conversation. All of these things have been closed issues and you could be fired for even talking about them. Raising these questions and polling people — it at least signals something other than a closed mind.”

Nothing in the questionnaire says that the church is planning any big changes. A senior Vatican official was reported saying that the church remains “loyal to the vision of the family where a man and a woman join together and procreate children.”

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(4)

  1. derek purcell says:

    gay marriage is not what god intended for man

    marriage is for one man & one woman God has made this very clear in his word

  2. JamesB says:

    For me, the Jury is out on the Catholic Church. With regards to gay marriage, I don’t strongly oppose it.

    I do support the catholic church’s strong support for the family and traditional family values. I am not catholic but a lot of my friends – and my wife – are and I do have respect for the faith they have and how it seems to keep them strong and with moral guidance that often people lack in the wider community. I do not think religion is a bad thing.

  3. JamesB says:

    I just realised that my last post didn’t really say much. Perhaps I have ran out of things to say on family law and this subject for the time being.

  4. Luke says:

    Perhaps the Pope should spend more time looking at the recruitment of catholic priests – that way we might not have so many caught abusing children…

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