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The questions were sent to bish- ops’ conferences around the world on October 18. In an accompanying letter Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked episcopal conferences to distribute the ques- tions “immediately as widely as possi- ble to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received”. The letter apparently did not specify how the questions should be distributed and, so far, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is the only conference that has opted for an online survey.

The Vatican posted the questions on Tuesday on the Synod of Bishops' website and gave them to journalists at the Vatican press office. The Amer- ican National Catholic Reporter said that when Archbishop Baldisseri was asked at the Vatican press conference on the same day whether all bishops' conferences should carry out an online consultation he replied that the “ques- tion answers itself” and was “not worth considering”.

The Bishops of England and Wales would like Catholics to respond to the questions at SurveyMonkey. com/s/FamilySynod2014 by Satur- day, November 30.


 No. 6633 November 8 2013 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)

1s ask 2faithfu3l 10 bi4g ques5tions

Church’s teachings on the in institutions, education, tion? What efforts are there to reality in your particular same-sex and equating it

It is believed to be the first time an episcopal conference has consulted value of the family contained in the academic circles and among the stimulate the task of evangelisation of Church? Can you approximate ain some way to marriage? the faithful so widely ahead of a major Bible, Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris people at large? What anthropological the couple and of the family? How can percentage? b) What is the attitude of the local meeting of the world's bishops. Consortio and other documents of the ideas underlie the discussion on the an awareness of the family as the b) Do unions which are not recog- and particular churches towards both b) In those cases where the Church’s teaching is known, is it accepted fully c) How is the theory and practice of c) In the current generational crisis, reality in your particular church? or are there difficulties in putting it natural law in the union between man how have Christian families been able to Can you approximate a percentage? into practice? If so, what are they? and woman challenged in light of the fulfil their vocation of transmitting the How do you deal with this situation given to people who have chosen to live in these types of union?

by the baptised in general? c) How widespread is the Church’s formation of a family? How is it faith?in appropriate pastoral programmes? complexities and today’s culture? divorced and remarried a pastoral teaching in pastoral programmes at the proposed and developed in civil and d) In what way have the local d) In all the above cases, how do

The consultation, hosted by the post-conciliar Magisterium is under- natural basis of the family? “domestic Church” be promoted? nised either religiously or civilly the state as the promoter of civil popular online service SurveyMon- stood by people today. What forma- b) Is the idea of the natural law in b) How successful have you been in exist? Are reliable statistics avail- unions between persons of the same key, consists of 39 questions under tion is given to our people on the the union between a man and a proposing a manner of praying within able?sex and the people involved in this 10 headings. They touch on sensitive issues as contraception, divorce and same-sex marriage. Church’s teaching on family life? woman commonly accepted as such the family which can withstand life’s c) Are separated couples and those type of union? c) What pastoral attention can be Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has described the consul- tation as “a moment of importance in the life of the Church”. As president of the bishops’ conference he will repre- sent England and Wales at the synod in October. He has promised that he will “attend carefully to the outcomes of this broad process of consultation”.

national, diocesan and parish levels? Church institutions? churches and movements on family spir- the baptised live in this irregular What catechesis is done on the d) In cases where non-practising ituality been able to create ways of situation? Are they aware of it? Are family? Catholics or declared non-believers acting which are exemplary? they simply indifferent? Do they feel


􏰀 Bishops of England and Wales consult the laity on marriage and family life ahead of synod of bishops BY ED WEST AND CINDY WOODEN The Diffusion of the Teach- Marriage according to the The Pastoral Care of the Pastoral Care in Certain On Unions of Persons of THE BISHOPS of England of Wales have ings on the Family in Sacred Natural LawFamilyin Evangelisation Difficult Marital Situa- the Same Sex taken the unprecedented step of Scripture and the Church’s a) What place does the idea a) What experiences havetions a) Is there a law in your consulting the faithful online ahead of Magisterium of the natural law have inemerged in recent decades a) Is cohabitation adcountry recognising civil a synod of bishops in Rome. a) Describe how the Catholic the cultural areas of society: regarding marriage prepara- experimentum a pastoral unions for people of the d) To what extent – and what request the celebration of marriage, e) What specific contribution can marginalised or suffer from the aspects in particular – is this teaching describe how this pastoral challenge is couples and families make to spreading impossibility of receiving the sacra- actually known, accepted, rejected dealt with? a credible and holistic idea of the couple ments? and/or criticised in areas outside theandthe Christian family today? e) What questions do divorced and Church? What are the cultural factorsf) What pastoral care has the Church re-married people pose to the Church which hinder the full reception of theprovidedin supporting couples in forma- concerning the Sacraments of the Church’s teaching on the family?tion and couples in crisis situations? Eucharist and of Reconciliation?


The Education of Children The Openness of the Married The Relationship Between many ask for these sacraments?

in Irregular Marriages Couple to Lifethe Family and the Person f ) Could a simplification of a) What is the estimated a) What knowledge do Chris- a) Jesus Christ reveals the canonical practice in recognising a declaration of nullity of the marriage adolescents in these cases, ings of Humanae Vitae onthe human person. How bond provide a positive contribution proportion of children andtians have today of the teach- mystery and vocation of as regards children who are responsible parenthood? Are can the family be a privi- to solving the problems of the born and raised in regularly consti- they aware of how morally to evaluate leged place for this to happen? persons involved? If yes, what form tuted families? the different methods of family planning? b) What critical situations in the would it take?

b) How do parents in these situa- Could any insights be suggested in this family today can obstruct a person’s g) Does a ministry exist to attend tions approach the Church? What do regard pastorally? encounter with Christ? to these cases? Describe this pastoral they ask? Do they request the sacra- b) Is this moral teaching accepted? c) To what extent do the many ministry? Do such programmes exist ments only or do they also want cate- What aspects pose the most difficulties in crisis of faith which people can on the national and diocesan levels? chesis and the general teaching of reli- a large majority of couple’s accepting this experience affect family life? How is God’s mercy proclaimed to gion?teaching?separated couples and those divorced You can complete the consultation at FamilySynod2014.


c) How do the particular Churches c) What natural methods are promoted and remarried and how does the attempt to meet the needs of the by the particular Churches to helpChurch put into practice her support parents of these children to provide spouses put into practice the teachings offorthemintheir journey of faith? them with a Christian education? Humanae Vitae? If you don’t have an internet connection, you can send your answers to your diocese or to Mrs Elizabeth Davies, Marriage and Family Life Project Office, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX.

d) What is the sacramental practice d) What is your experience on this in these cases: preparation, adminis- subject in the practice of the Sacrament tration of the sacrament and the of Penance and participation at the accompaniment? Eucharist? Other Challenges and d) In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?

Among those persons who find themselves in these situations, how

89 10 Where to send your answers

If you have any further comments to make about this consultation please do so here.

towards having children be fostered? How

e) What differences are seen in thisProposals regard between the Church’s teaching What other challenges or and civic education?proposals related to the The deadline is Saturday, Novem- ber 30. The bishops stress that you do not need to answer every question. f) How can a more open attitudetopicsinthe above ques- tions do you consider can an increase in births be promoted? urgent and useful to treat?

Editorial comment: Page 13 Continued on Page 2

Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘I’m planning surprises with Francis’

. THE ARCHBISHOP of Canter - bury, the Most Rev Justi n Welby, has said that he an d Pope Francis hope “to produc e a few surprises” in the comin g years

BY MADELEINE TEAHA N and I think people are inspire d and uplifted by what they se e in Pope Francis, as I am. I think he’s a wonderful person . Surprises? Yes, I think there’l l be one or two surprises. We’r e hoping to produce a fe w surprises.

” have between us and the y have to be worked on, as the y are with Rome and the Angli - cans with the [Anglican - Roman Catholic Internationa l Commission] ARCIC, and w e take those extremely seriously . Archbishop Welby an d Pope Francis met for the firs t time in June at the Vatican . Francis said Catholics an d Anglicans should wor k together to challenge secula r society, particularly on “th e sacredness of human life o r the importance of the institu - tion of the family built o n marriage”

In an interview with Vatica n Radio during the 10th Assem - bly of the World Council o f Churches in Busan, Sout h Korea, Archbishop Welb y said: “God has given you, an d given us all, a great Pope. An d he’s a great Pope of surprises..

AN ITALIAN web designer who died at the age of 15 could be declared a saint.

A convert to the faith, h e went to Mass each day an

. The Archbishop of Canter - bury also said that no sacrific e was too big to obey Christ’ s call to unity

. He said: “There are ver y fundamental and extremel y important doctrinal an d dogmatic differences that w

Teen may be patron Tennis player robbed saint of tech whizzes of rosary from Pontiff

. “It’s absolutely essentia l that those are worked on. Bu t we need to make sure we’r e working on them in th e context of churches and eccle - sial communities that say n o sacrifice is too great to b e obedient to the call of Chris t that we may be one.


. Francis celebrated his inau - gural Mass as Pope two day s before the Archbishop Welb y was enthroned at Canterbur y Cathedral was devoted to the Eucharist. His parents and classmates attest that “the teen helped them better live out their faith, by earning their respect”, according to Rome Reports.

BY MADELEINE TEAHAN the Paris Masters the day before. The 2009 US Open champion stopped to sign an autograph at Gare du Nord

ONE of the world’s top tennis players has lost his most prized possession – a rosary blessed by Pope Francis. train station only to discover his bag had

Carlo Acutis, who passed away from leukaemia in October 2006, had used his knowledge of computers to create a website that cata- logued Eucharistic miracles across the world. Francesca Consoli, of the Office of the Causes of Saints of the Archdiocese of Milan, said: “He was not ashamed to share convictions with others. When Juan Martín de l Potro was robbed of hi s passport, money an d other belongings las t week, his rosar y been snatched . Francis blessed th


“But those people woul d not make fun of him, becaus e they understood that hi s conviction were real, the y came from inside him. I t wasn’t something artificial.

The Vatican is now tryin g to determine whether he live d a life of heroic virtue

TheArgentin e tennis player wa s travelling fro m Paris to Londo n when the inciden t occurred. He had los t to Roger Federer a





d blessed by the Pop e was among th e stolen items . rosary when de l Potro met th e Pope earlie r this year i e



” Rome.Speakin


gt about th e rosary,de l Potro said


. “That’ s important fo r me, but th e other thing s don’t matter.



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