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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fill out the Vatican questionnaire ...

... oh wait - you can't :(

Catholics across the world are being asked for their views on contraception, same-sex unions and communion for divorced and remarried couples ... [and] ... The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has put the questionnaire online here (The Tablet). But we in the US will not be polled - only our bishops. Here's more from NCR ...

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." .....

[But ...]

While Baldisseri asks in his letter for wide consultation on the questions, an accompanying letter sent with the U.S. version of the Vatican document does not request the American bishops undertake wide consultation in their dioceses. That accompanying letter, dated Oct. 30, is sent from Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, the general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference, and only asks the U.S. bishops to provide their own observations ....

Among topics bishops' conferences are asked in the Vatican document to question their Catholic populations about:

- How the church's teaching on "the value of the family" is understood today. "In those cases where the Church's teaching is known, is it accepted fully or are there difficulties in putting it into practice?" the document asks. "If so, what are they?"
- Whether cohabitation, the problem of divorce and remarriage, and same-sex marriages are a "pastoral reality" in their church. "Does a ministry exist to attend to these cases?" the document asks. "How is God's mercy proclaimed to separated couples and those divorced and remarried and how does the Church put into practice her support for them in their journey of faith?"
- How persons in same-sex marriages are treated and how children they may adopt are cared for. "What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live these types of union?" it asks. "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?"
- Whether married couples have "openness" to becoming parents and whether they accept Humanae Vitae, an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI that prohibited artificial contraception use by Catholics. "Is this moral teaching accepted?" it asks. "What aspects pose the most difficulties in a large majority of couple's accepting this teaching?" ...

It doesn't make sense to only poll the US bishops and not lay Catholics - the US bishops hold seriously different views from most lay Catholics on these topics ... example: the US bishops are against contraception to the point of obstructing the Affordable Care Act while about 90& of Catholics use contraception, and the US bishops are against marriage equality to the point of spending millions to derail it and yet most Catholics support same-sex marriage. I guess the Vatican doesn't really want to know what Catholics in the US think.


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