The Survey Says…

Reports from bishops’ conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a clear divergence between what the church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics—even those active in parish life—personally believe. The differences are seen “above all when it comes to pre-marital cohabitation, [the status of the] divorced and remarried, birth control and homosexuality,” said the German bishops’ report, posted on Feb. 3 on their conference website in German, Italian and English. The text is a summary of the official responses from all of Germany’s 27 dioceses and about 20 German Catholic organizations and institutions to a Vatican questionnaire published in preparation for October’s Synod of Bishops on the family. The Swiss bishops’ conference published an initial report on Feb. 4 based on 25,000 responses, similar in most cases to those received by the German bishops. “Most of the baptized have an image of the church that, on the one hand, is family friendly in its attitude while at the same time considering its sexual morality to be unrealistic,” the German survey found.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Paul Ferris
3 years 9 months ago
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 family 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 been changed to accept gay marriage? 9. Are you aware the Gay Couples can not only adopt children but female couples can have children via In Vitro Fertilization? 10. Do you approve of the policy of some Bishops not to allow children of gay couples to attend Catholic Schools? 11. Do you think it is wrong to save a mother's life when there is no hope for either the unborn baby or the mother without terminating the life of the baby? 12. Do you think it appropriate for some Bishops to still refuse to allow altar girls? 13. Would you allow an optional celibacy with married priests (having skin in the game) when poll after poll of priests are in favor of this change? 14. Do you agree with the policy to reprimand the LCWR for not speaking out more aggressively (in your opinion) on the subjects of abortion, contraception, and gay marriage, after Pope Francis in public interviews stated that such a focus is detrimental to the spread of the Gospel? 15. Are you bishops still beating your wives? (OK this question may not be valid) but it does say something about how I feel about this questionnaire. So dishonest after fifty years of ignoring the evidence. PS: The questionnaire I received from Baltimore Diocese asked about Natural Law, Familiaris Consortio, and Gaudium et Spes... really "earth shattering" documents for the Catholic Laity! I thank America for the opportunity to respond. This is after all, America!
Mike Evans
3 years 9 months ago
And so will the pile of questionnaire answers from upper level developed and educated countries sway the synod? The Sensum Fideli is pretty apparent among thinking people. The church has been ranting about these issues for the last 45 years. Maybe the Jesus-like pastoral approach would be much more useful and effective. Otherwise the church may evolve into a very small "remnant" with little or no meaning to the rest of humanity.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Images: CNS/Composite: America
On Nov. 11, the Catholic Church lost a moral titan in the long struggle for racial equality and justice in the United States.
Shannen Dee WilliamsNovember 22, 2017
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar military commander-in-chief, speaks during the Union Peace Conference Aug. 31 in Naypyitaw (CNS photo/Hein Htet, EPA).
Gen. Min Aung Hlaing wields great political power in the country.
Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in “Wonder” (CNS photo/Lionsgate). 
‘Wonder’ is a tween melodrama on a mission of mercy.
Simcha FisherNovember 22, 2017
The change was in “no way” a response to the C.C.H.D.’s persistent online critics, an archdiocesan official says.
Kevin ClarkeNovember 22, 2017