BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge has released the process by which Catholics throughout the archdiocese can give input to next year’s Extraordinary Synod on the family called by Pope Francis.
Their input will come through responses to a questionnaire on how Church teaching is promoted, how well it is accepted and ways in which modern people and societies challenge the Catholic view of marriage and family.
The questionnaire will be based on a 38-question preparatory document for the 2014 synod Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelisation.
Challenges to the traditional family structure including same-sex unions, divorce, surrogate motherhood and birth control are mentioned in the document.
Archbishop Coleridge said although the questions were “primarily aimed at the bishops, like many others, I am anxious to consult widely on these questions before giving my response”.
“However, rather than simply reproduce the original questionnaire we have edited the questions slightly so that they address lay people’s experience more directly,” he said.
“We have retained the same headings, and the questions pursue the same themes, but ask directly for the perspective of the laity.”
Archbishop Coleridge said the questionnaire remained “quite extensive”.
“People will be able to respond to as many questions – or as few – as they like,” he said.
“Our preference is for the questionnaire to be completed on-line as this will aid us greatly in the task of collating the replies.
“The questionnaire is designed to be completed by individuals, but a group (such as a parish council) could respond using the on-line questionnaire.”
To complete the survey go to http://bne.catholic.net.au/synodsurvey
If individuals or groups have difficulties completing or downloading and printing the online survey, the Archbishop will provide parish priests with a hardcopy of the questions associated with the consultation.
People can either contact their local parish or the Archdiocesan Communication Office to obtain a copy.
The questionnaire can also be completed as a hard copy and sent to John Paul II Centre for Life and Family, PO Box 81, Ashgrove 2060.
The centre will have the task of collating the responses.
Responses are to be summarised and sent to the Holy See by the end of January.