The responses to the Vatican questionnaire about on family life reflect a great amount of suffering around the world, the general secretary of the synod has said.
As of February 19, about 80 per cent of the world’s bishops’ conferences and 60 per cent of the Vatican congregations and councils had turned in formal responses to a questionnaire distributed by the synod office in October.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the synod, told the Vatican newspaper that the responses show “much suffering, especially by those who feel excluded or abandoned by the Church because they find themselves in a state of life that does not correspond to the Church’s doctrine and discipline”.
The volume of responses, which also include about 700 submissions from Catholic groups and individuals, demonstrates great interest in the synod’s plans to discuss the family when it meets at the Vatican from October 5 to October 19, said the general secretary.
By urging bishops around the world to conduct the broadest consultation possible given the brief amount of time allotted, synod officials “sparked a spontaneous reaction that may seem surprising, but is actually proof of how necessary it is to go out of our offices” to where people really live, he said.
The results compiled by the bishops’ conferences, he said, show “the urgency of recognising the lived reality of the people and of beginning a pastoral dialogue with those who have distanced themselves from the Church for various reasons”.
Simply by distributing the questionnaire so widely and inviting everyone to respond, he said, “a process has been opened for restoring the trust many have lost”.
Pope Francis, he said, “shows, day after day, a new human and Christian approach that stimulates people and prepares them to listen and to accept what is good for them, even if there is suffering”.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund