UK Bishops Consult Catholics On Divorce, Same-sex Marriage And Contraception In Online Survey

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales (CBCEW) has urged Catholics to respond to a survey on same-sex marriage, divorce and contraception, ahead of the Vatican synod on the family next October.

Following a request from the Vatican to the world’s bishops, urging them to distribute the questionaire as widely as possible, the Archbishop of Westminster announced the launch of the consulation in order to prepare for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the ‘Pastoral Challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.’

Writing in the Catholic Universe, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: “Your participation is important. It will bring to bishops attending this synod the thoughts and experiences of people who live the vocation of Christian marriage and family life and of those who have responsibilty for their pastoral care.”

He continued: “As this Extraordinary Synod is attended by Presdients of Bishops’ Conferences from around the world, I will be one of those bishops. I will attend carefully to the outcomes of this broad process of consulation.”

The first question of the consultation asks: “Describe how the Catholic Church’s teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today? What formation is given to our people on the Church’s teaching on family life?”

It also asks: “What critical situations in the family today can obstruct a person’s encounter with Christ?”

The synod will take place from October 5 until October 19 next year.

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general to the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the world’s bishops’ conferences to distribute the poll “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”

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