- Trying to square the circle
The opening days of the Synod on the Family have revealed distinct differences of opinion between the participants. How can their commitment to church teaching be matched with compassion for those who struggle with it?
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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