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Letters Extra

Complicated questions?
27 March 2014

People complain of the decision not to publish the results of the questionnaire about the family; it is more deplorable that barely one Catholic in 100 took the trouble to answer it. Apparently some 16,500 replies were received, and there must be more than 1,650,000 Catholics in England and Wales. What, the bishops may have thought, is the value of publishing the opinions of less than one percent of the Catholic population?

If it is said that not one Catholic in 100 could understand the questionnaire, that is absurd. Questionnaires are a feature of modern life. They are sent out by the Government before it introduces controversial legislation, by county councils, even by garages when they service our cars. We had several weeks in which to declare what we have been thinking for years, we were told we did not have to answer every question, and if we did not like the questions asked, nothing stopped us from saying so, proposing alternatives and answering them.
William Charlton, West Woodburn, Hexham

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Comment by: pauldavid
Posted: 15/04/2014 20:50:20

Paul Ferris | 12/16/2013 - 4:40pm
Jesus often answered a question with a question. I am not Jesus but here is my questionnaire to the Bishops.
1. Is there anything in either the Old or New Testaments that refers to the Natural Law?
2. Have you ever read a document that does not have a title written in Latin?
3. Do you think it appropriate to invite someone to Thanksgiving Dinner and not allow them to share in the meal as you do with divorced and remarried couples who are not supposed to receive communion?
4. Do you think your recent questionnaire comports with Pope Francis's latest encyclical on the Joy of the Gospel in tone or specifics?
5. If you found that the vast majority of respondents to your recent questionnaire think there should be changes to present church policies regarding the ordination of women, the procedures for divorce and remarriage, the acceptance of same-sex marriage, an openness to limiting the size of the family through all available means would you consider making changes?
6. Have you ever read any of the results of professional polls which show the vast majority of the laity disagree with your present policies indicated in your questionnaire?
7. How would you apply Pope Francis' recent distinction between ideas and realities to your study of marriage and the fam-ily and the realities of same-sex marriage?
8. Are you aware that in States like Maryland where there is a majority of Catholics, including a Catholic Governor, laws based on referendums have