GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Pope Francis continues to surprise Catholics nationwide, and his latest move proves it once again as the Catholic Church turns to online questionnaires to get input from their parishioners.
It’s an unprecedented move by Pope Francis, giving bishops around the globe three weeks to collect information on how followers of the faith feel about the state of marriage and family.
The pope has called an extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops to take place next October. It’s a special meeting where bishops from around the globe gather to talk about a specific message.
It’s only been called two other times in history, but Bishop David Walkowiak of Grand Rapids says it’s obvious the pope has identified an urgent need.
He has asked all bishops to reach out to their parishes and individual Catholics to fill out the questionnaire online. It has nine different topics with various questions, ranging from everything to divorce and same-sex marriage. By Dec. 13, the responses within the Diocese of Grand Rapids will be complied by Bishop Walkowiak and his staff and eventually sent to the Vatican.
Bishop Walkowiak says he doesn’t believe the intent is to change the teachings of the church or redefine the faith but rather how to help all families in these modern times.
“What we’re looking for is how can we care for everybody. You know we have different situations; now how can we extend to them the love of Christ, the concern of Christ, the compassion of Christ and the love of Christ,” he said.
For more information about the survey: http://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org