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.
The Survey Says…