The School Newspaper of Presentation High School.

The Voice

Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

Ria Parab, Co-Managing Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In an effort to better understand the world’s Catholic population, Pope Francis has requested Catholic bishops to survey their dioceses in the form of a questionnaire. According to the New York Times, “Pope Francis, who has already shaken up the Vatican, is asking the world’s one billion Catholics for their opinions on a questionnaire covering social issues like same-sex marriage, cohabitation by unwed couples, contraception, and the place of divorced and remarried people in the church.”

The survey, which can be accessed on Survey Monkey, will provide the Vatican with a census of where Catholics across the globe stand with regards to social issues. The bishops are expected to conduct these surveys in preparation for their 2014 synod, or meeting, next fall, and a deadline of Dec. 9, 2013 was set so that the results can be sent back to the Vatican by January.

With questions such as “In cases where non-practicing Catholics or declared non-believers request the celebration of marriage, describe how this pastoral challenge is dealt with,” the Vatican hopes to assess how the global Catholic population lives today.

By conducting these public opinion polls, the Vatican is also aiming at establishing a more personal connection with ordinary Catholics. The survey is in part, also a strategy to generate more interest around the annual synods. As Jim Yardley of the New York Times said, “Francis has also raised expectations by changing the format, with next year’s meeting framed as a prelude to a second synod in 2015 that could bring proposed changes, even if few expect him to pursue major doctrinal shifts.”

This comes as no surprise. Since his inauguration, Pope Francis has exhibited a slightly unconventional approach to things, along with an urgency to better relate to his followers.

“I felt very happy as a person who’s not a priest or a sister to be asked for my input. I think, in general, the questions are very honest. The Pope really wants to know what’s happening, and what is the state of the Catholic family today,” said Religion teacher Melissa Ursin.

While many are glad to provide their responses through the survey, there has been dispute about whether or not it can yield usable results.“The 38 questions are larded with theological jargon, and will leave many of the faithful scratching their heads and Googling the Catholic Encyclopedia,” said Linda Woodhead, a reporter for Salon.

This may be true with questions that reference terms like, “Guadium et spes,” “Familiaris consortio,” and “documents of the post-consiliar Magisterium.” Other questions ask for specific details, making it clear that the Church is really invested in learning about where its community really stands. Question 17 even asks, “Are separated couples and those divorced and remarried a pastoral reality in your particular Church? Can you approximate a percentage? It is clear that this survey is about much more than just involving the people.

“We can see what is surely the single most important issue prompting the Vatican survey: the Church’s growing awareness that there’s a serious gulf between official teaching and what Catholics really think and do,” said Woodhead.

Whatever the results turn out to be, it is clear that things in the Catholic world are changing. “These questions are really asking about what is going on. There’s dialogue happening, and that is great,” said Ursin. In its assessment of the new face of the Catholic family, the Church has some important decisions to make.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

We do not post comments that feature profanity or bad taste. We reserve the right to edit comments for length.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Features

    You Are What You Eat

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Features

    Hurricanes Hit Home

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Features

    Black and White: Change is Good

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Features

    Feeling Blue on Halloween

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Lifestyle

    Short Hair Don’t Care

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Features

    Innovation, Representation, and Presentation

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Special Features

    Countdown of Best Halloween Movies: Scary and Not Scary

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Pres

    Free Dress Challenge

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Top Stories

    Moana Movie Review

  • Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?

    Player Profile

    Player Profile: Izzy Randazzo

The School Newspaper of Presentation High School.
Catholic Bishops’ Survey: Is It Working?