GRAND RAPIDS, MI – According to a news release in preparation for a global meeting of Catholic bishops next October, Pope Francis is asking parishes and individuals for their input on the state of marriage and the family in an unprecedented survey. Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, has provided the opportunity for Catholics in West Michigan to respond.
Pope Francis has decided to convene an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is a meeting of bishops from around the world gathered to discuss a particular theme or message. The topic for the Synod in October 2014 will be: Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.
The Vatican questionnaire in English and Spanish, along the ability to submit responses to the diocese, can be found on the diocesan website, from November 19 to December 13, 2013.
“I understand that time is short and I am grateful for your response to this important matter so that we may provide assistance to the bishops who will participate in the Extraordinary Synod,” said Bishop Walkowiak.
Before the end of the year, all the responses will be organized by Bishop Walkowiak and his staff and sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who will then send the data to the Vatican in preparation for the Synod. The questionnaire has nine questions in 39 total parts and addresses matters that include divorce, same-sex marriage and parenting.