- Now the talking really begins
Pope Francis wanted frankness and openness and that is what he got. But there is also the sense that the real debate in the Church about marriage and families is only just starting
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Dioceses in Britain have issued amended versions of the Vatican’s consultation seeking to find Catholics’ views on issues such as the divorced and remarried, contraception and same-sex unions.
The questionnaire was sent out to bishops’ conferences across the world in preparation for a synod on family life next year. But the survey, which includes abstract questions on natural law, has been criticised by some who feel parts of it are unintelligible. Now dioceses have produced reworded versions of the consultation.
In Scotland, the Archdiocese of Glasgow has produced its own version, which is based on the Vatican’s list of questions but in a much simpler form.
While one question in the Vatican survey makes references to Church documents and asks: “Describe how the Catholic Church's teaching on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today?” the Archdiocese of Glasgow version asks: “To what extent is the Church's teaching on Marriage and family life well-known and understood?”
The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton has also released a reworded version for its members which, on the question of how common cohabitation is, asks people to give a number between one and 10 (one for being not common and 10 for very common). A similar format is used for other questions. The diocese said they had 1,500 respondents to this version of the survey.
Catholics in England and Wales have been asked for responses to the survey to be completed by Saturday to assist the Bishops’ Conference in making a collective submission to Rome by the end of January 2014.
You can fill in the survey here.