By George P. Matysek Jr.
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Baltimore will have a chance to let Pope Francis and bishops around the world know their views about the challenges facing families today through a questionnaire that was posted on the archdiocesan website Nov. 20. Click here for the survey. The document will also be available to all parishes.
The 39-question document, prepared by Vatican officials in advance of next October’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, contains topics such as divorce and remarriage, cohabitation, same-sex unions and contraception. Bishops around the world have been asked to survey their people and report the results to Rome in advance of the synod.
In Baltimore, the results of the questionnaire will be compiled by archdiocesan officials for a report due Dec. 31 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Although the survey will remain on the archdiocesan website through the end of the year, those who wish for their responses to be reflected in the report must complete the survey by Dec. 15.
Sean Caine, communications director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, noted that the survey is not a poll to determine church teaching.
“The archbishop sees the study as a chance for the pope to communicate directly with and look into the hearts of the world’s Catholics to better understand the challenges facing Catholic families, what role the church plays in their lives and how the church can better support them and open them to the fullness and beauty of church teaching,” Caine said.
Caine said the archdiocese is hopeful the information obtained in the survey will also be helpful locally to future evangelization and formation efforts on issues related to marriage and family.
“All Catholics in the archdiocese are invited to participate,” Caine said, “regardless of how active they may be in the life of the church.”