BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time, the Vatican is asking Catholics to speak up. This week, parishioners around the world–including here in Baltimore–will receive an online survey on family and social issues.
Gigi Barnett explains how the survey will help bishops.
At the start of Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen this Sunday, parishioners came to hear from the church. This week, however, the Vatican wants their thoughts through an online survey that touches on a wide-range of current social issues.
“There are a lot of forces that impact family life in the modern world in which we live and so the Holy Father wants to examine it as much as possible,” said Monsignor J. Bruce Jarboe, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
Pope Francis, who has already shaken up the Vatican, says the questionnaire will not change church teachings. It will be a guide for bishops at a worldwide meeting next fall to address family issues like divorce and same-sex marriage.
“I think it’s certainly in the spirit of inclusiveness that he is reaching out to people around the world to find out what their opinions are, so it can only help him in his decision-making,” said parishioner Tom Finan.
This is the first time the Vatican has asked Catholics around the world to share their views on pastoral care issues. It’s also a first when it comes to the way they respond with an online questionnaire.
“He Tweets and does all that. He’s just wonderful. He’s up-to-date; he’s modern. We’ve never had a pope like this,” said parishioner Claire Gurney.
The questionnaire became available to the world’s one billion Catholics this week.
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