Priests respond to Vatican survey

Written By Ellen Euclide

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April 13, 2015

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Focus Areas:

In response to the Vatican’s preparatory documents for the Synod, The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests has compiled a report which details decades of experience of ministering to families.

AUSCP is an association of priests committed to the principles of Vatican II, many friends of Call To Action are leaders and members of the group. Because the Synod preparations vary in each diocese, many priests have felt nearly as left out of the process as lay Catholics have.  AUSCP created an online version of the Synod questions which it distributed to association members and priests listed in the Kennedy Directory earlier this year. The report compiles the responses of  nearly 600 priests, all in good standing, representing 21,139 years worth of pastoral experience, report the organizers. It was delivered to the Secretariat of the Synod by AUSCP leaders.

The responses of U.S. priests “reflect the deep compassion for and commitment to the people they serve as they face the challenges of married life,” says the press statement released this week. “The comments also reflect deep support for the ministry and initiatives of Pope Francis based on the priority of gospel mercy.”

In written responses to the 46 questions, priests offered practical “how-to” answers based on their ministry experiences. The AUSCP survey report “does not pretend to speak for all priests in the United States,” the text acknowledges. While it has its limits, “It concentrates on those practical pastoral actions priests believe can and should be taken to better minister to families in a way that reflects “truth and mercy for all,” “truth in charity.”

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