Pope Francis will convene with 150 Synod Fathers in October 2014 to discuss “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization”. This Extraordinary Assembly, intended to collect the bishops’ experiences and proposals, will be followed by an Ordinary General Assembly in 2015.
As part of the preparation for the Synod, a document has been circulated by the Vatican which includes a detailed questionnaire under 9 different headings with 39 questions in total. It is hoped and expected that local churches will engage in this consultation and forward their responses to the Holy See.
All responses welcome to Bishop’s House, Carlow
Complete the Survey
We will send you the digital survey that can be completed electronically.
SYNOD OF BISHOPS III EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
PASTORAL CHALLENGES TO THE FAMILY IN THE CONTEXT OF EVANGELIZATION
I. Synod: Family and Evangelization
…The social and spiritual crisis, so evident in today’s world, is becoming a pastoral challenge in the Church’s evangelizing mission concerning the family, the vital building-block of society and the ecclesial community…
…Concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago have arisen today as a result of different situations, from the widespread practice of cohabitation, which does not lead to marriage, and sometimes even excludes the idea of it, to same-sex unions between persons, who are, not infrequently, permitted to adopt children…
…Within the Church, faith in the sacramentality of marriage and the healing power of the Sacrament of Penance show signs of weakness or total abandonment…
…Consequently, we can well understand the urgency with which the worldwide episcopate is called upon to gather cum et sub Petro to address these challenges. For example, by simply calling to mind the fact that, as a result of the current situation, many children and young people will never see their parents receive the sacraments, then we understand just how urgent are the challenges to evangelization arising from the current situation, which can be seen in almost every part of the “global village”.
1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium
a) Describe how the Catholic Church’s teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Gaudium et spes, Familiaris consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today? What formation is given to our people on the Church’s teaching on family life?
d ) To what extent — and what aspects in particular — is this teaching actually known, accepted, rejected and/or criticized in areas outside the Church? What are the cultural factors which hinder the full reception of the Church’s teaching on the family?
2. Marriage according to the Natural Law
b) Is the idea of the natural law in the union between a man and a woman commonly accepted as such by the baptized in general?
d) In cases where non-practicing Catholics or declared non-believers request the celebration of marriage, describe how this pastoral challenge is dealt with?
3. The Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization
a) What experiences have emerged in recent decades regarding marriage preparation? What efforts are there to stimulate the task of evangelization of the couple and of the family? How can an awareness of the family as the “domestic Church” be promoted?