Catholic Organizations Launch Survey to Collect Lay Input for Vatican Synod on the Family
Ryan J. Hoffmann, Director of Communications
773.404.0004 ext. 285
For Immediate Release: November 11, 2013
A group of 15 progressive Catholic organizations will launch an on-line survey to enable US Catholics to provide input to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and to the Vatican in preparation for an upcoming Synod on the Family. The effort will be officially kicked off at a press conference held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The press conference, entitled “Since You Asked: Encouraging Catholics to Talk with the Vatican about Divorce, Contraception, Same-Sex Marriage and More,” will be Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at Noon at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD.
In preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to be held Oct. 5-19, 2014, the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek the opinions of Catholics on a number of church teachings including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce and remarriage. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the bishops’ conferences to commence a survey “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”
In the U.S., the Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that its members will respond to the survey. In some other countries, notably the United Kingdom, a survey has been made available over the internet, allowing feedback from Catholics.
Linda Pinto, the facilitator of Catholic Organizations for Renewal, a leadership forum of US progressive Catholic organizations said, “U.S. Catholics have been happily surprised that the Vatican is seeking input on issues like divorce and remarriage, use of contraception, same-sex marriage, and what kind of pastoral practice is effective and appropriate. They have been disappointed that there was not a vehicle for them to give their input. That’s why we created this on-line survey. Lay Catholics have strong feelings and a great deal of experience on these matters. Our voices, along with those of our bishops, need to be heard.”
The survey, which closely follows the questions asked by the Vatican, will be available for response through December 15, 2013. Responses will be compiled and sent to Catholic officials including Archbishop Baldisseri Secretary General of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Papal Nuncio to the United States, and the incoming president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who will be elected next week.
The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SynodOnFamilyUS
Organizational sponsors of the survey project from Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR) include American Catholic Council, Call To Action, CORPUS, DignityUSA, Federation of Christian Ministries/Roman Catholic Faith Community Council, FutureChurch, New Ways Ministry, RAPPORT, Roman Catholic Womenpriests, Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference, Voice of the Faithful, and Women’s Ordination Conference. Other supporting organizations include Catholic Church Reform, Fortunate Families, and Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER). Additional organizations are being invited to sponsor the project, and to encourage their members to complete it.
“We want this survey to reach as many U.S. Catholics as possible,” said Pinto. “These are important issues, and our goal is that everyone who wants to have input should have that chance. How our Church ministers to people is of concern to all of us.”
Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR) is a leadership forum of U.S. national church reform organizations. The purpose is to further reform and renewal in the Roman Catholic Church, to build an inclusive church, to bring about a world of justice and peace and to reflect the sacredness of all creation. COR works collaboratively to provide an authentic Catholic moral voice on these issues and coordinates projects that further these goals. It has met since 1991.