Communications Office, Friday 1 November 2013
POPE Francis has invited Catholics from every diocese in the world, including the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to participate in a worldwide questionnaire on the many challenges facing the family today. Archbishop Denis Hart is also encouraging parishes, archdiocesan agencies and other Catholic groups to consider participating.
The information collected will form the basis of discussion at an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that Pope Francis has called in October 2014. The theme of the Synod will be: Pastoral Challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.
Catholics interested in participating are asked to read a Preparatory document. It includes an overview of topics such as Family and Evangelisation, The Plan of God, Creator and Redeemer and The Church’s teaching on the Family. This is followed by 38 questions under nine sub headings designed to stimulate thought on a variety of topics. Those choosing to participate are not required to answer every question. Rather people can choose to comment generally on the themes raised or may focus on one or more questions, depending on their interest, experience or expertise.
The Preparatory document seeks to draw on information, insight, ideas and suggestions from the local Catholic community on topics effecting modern day family life. Topics covered include: faith in family life, marriage, divorce, annulment, same sex unions, natural family planning and the participation in sacraments as part of family life.
Responses need to be supplied by Friday 6 December. In Melbourne the responses will be collated by the Life, Marriage and Family Office. The local response will then be forwarded to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). The ACBC will then prepare a national response to forward to Rome.
The Preparatory document is profoundly thorough in acknowledging the reality of family life and experience, the place and wellbeing of children and the influence of different national customs and contexts. It is also explicit in its understanding of the urgency with which the Church wishes to respond to the pastoral challenge of the age.
To read the Preparatory document and participate in the questionnaire visit: www.cam.org.au/synod
For further information contact Matthew MacDonald at the Life, Marriage and Family Office on firstname.lastname@example.org
OR 03 9287 5576.