Hear the voices of the Church

Written By BFC


February 20, 2014


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In November 2013, over 16,000 Catholics responded to the Synod on the Family survey co-sponsored by Call To Action. The results, analyzed independently by Dr. Peter J. Fagan, PhD., M.Div. from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, were released earlier today and are available online.  You can read the whole report and press release and browse the sampling of full text responses in English and Spanish.

Many Bishops councils around the world have begun to release their preparatory remarks for the upcoming Synod, pastoral statements of their observations as Bishops.  This report does something different, it gives voice to Catholics from across the country not only in overview views of the “situation of the family” but in their own words.  On the coalition website you’ll find both the quantitative report and a sampling of directly quoted responses to the Survey.  Dr. Fagan has done a wonderful job of reporting the results, which show a faithful people struggling to reconcile their lived realities with the strict dictates of the hierarchy.

Linda Pinto, one of the organizers of the effort, said, “Canon Law (212.3) gives church citizens the ‘right, indeed at times, the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.’ The tremendous response to this survey shows just how much wisdom Catholics are ready to share with Church leaders.”

Read the whole report and press release and browse the sampling of full text responses in English and Spanish.


P.S. Join the conversation on Facebook and don’t forget to mark your calendars for our March webinar with Dr. Fagan!



  • edward huff says:

    Are there any regional meetings scheduled for 2014 near Kentucky/Indiana? Thank you. Other events? National, 2014? Blessings, Ed.

    Edward Huff
    Manager of Pastoral Care
    Lourdes Hospital
    1530 Lone Oak Road
    Paducah, KY 42003

    • Ellen Euclide says:

      Edward, Thanks for asking! Make sure to sign up for our emails in the box at the top right of the page to receive updates about our national events, and check out our events calendar (www.cta-usa.org/calendar) or contact your nearest chapter (www.cta-usa.org/chapters) to find out what is happening locally.

  • Sharon Stoepler says:

    Sad but I never heard a word about this survey in church so I conclude that many people have been excluded.

    • Ellen Euclide says:

      Sharon, I’m so sorry you didn’t hear about the Survey. All of the co-sponsors publicized it as widely as we could. Are you signed up for our email alerts or Facebook updates? Make sure you don’t miss the next action or news item by signing up in that box at the top right of our website.

  • Joanne Kelly says:

    I was able to respond to the survey through your efforts to publicize the survey, but the previous writer is correct. The majority of dioceses ignored the survey, excluding many people. No information was disseminated to many parishes by bishops who were requested to do so. Thank you for your efforts but the negation of responsibility by the bishops is very disheartening.

  • Also, did not hear about the Synod nor survey.

  • Richard Sullivan says:

    We in the Archdiocese of San Antonio heard nothing about the Survey requested by the Pope. What does that say about our Archbishop?

    • Ellen Sewal says:

      There is a reason for that. The actual consultation was not a survey to collect data from mass amounts of responses but was addressed to dioceses (“the particular churches” in the wording of the document). If you look at the real questions (the CTA questions are rewritten to be more in keeping with the beliefs of CTA members) many of them are things the person in the pew would not reasonably be expected to know the answer to. CTA purporting to collect responses to something that is actually for dioceses to respond to is an absurd deception that wastes people’s time and is simply a tactic of dissident agitation against the Church’s beliefs about the family. The question section in the synod preparatory document is lengthy and is not particularly an opinion survey. In my diocese the bishop explained what the real intent was and said in the diocesan newspaper that if lay people want to answer the questions in their entirety and mail them to the diocese then they may do so. If people care about their Catholic Faith, attend your parish and be sincere in desiring holiness, stay away from groups like CTA.

      • Julett M. Broadnax says:

        Glad to hear your opinion Ellen – and it is just that – an opinion, not a statement of facts. We of CTA are very faithful Catholics in our beliefs and in our practices, but unlike many in the pew, we would like a seat at the table so that the institution of the church has the privilege of knowing many voices, instead of just that of the heirarchy – which is only a small part of the church not representative of the opinions of more than half of the body of the church itself – and a well educated part for the most part.

  • susan lambert says:

    The survey was only mentioned once in my diocesan paper, never in church or in parish bulletins. Only 13 people completed the Baton Rouge Diocesan survey. I was one of them but so disappointed at this number. I also completed the survey through CTA. Thank You for making it available.

  • patricia reid says:

    I was disappointed that I was unable to access the “whole report” or the “sampling of English text responses. These were highlighted as if they were links but I presume they were not. Thanks anyway.

    • Ellen Euclide says:

      Patricia, I’m sorry to hear that the links didn’t work for you. Our website was a little overwhelmed by the interest and traffic the day they were released and I’ve heard from several people that they got error messages. I hope you’ll try again!