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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Date: 2/13/15
Contact: John Robbins
Phone: (563) 556-2580
Email: j.robbins@dbqarch.org
 

Archdiocese seeks responses to questionnaire on family life

The Archdiocese of Dubuque is joining Catholic dioceses around the world in collecting responses to a questionnaire that will serve as a guide for the October 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Vatican City. The October gathering is the second stage of the two-year Synod on the Family.
 
In October 2014 an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops identified challenges to marriage and families. These challenges will be the focus of discussion at this year’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops in October. The 2014 Synod concluded with a report, titled The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World. Pope Francis decided to make this report public and indicated that it would serve as a guide (Lineamenta) for the working document of the October 2015 Synod.
 
At the end of the report are 46 questions as part of the consultation process. These questions are intended to help church officials, both locally and internationally, respond to the challenges the family faces in the modern world. The questionnaire is open to all, with the principle respondents being Catholics, former Catholics, and those becoming Catholic. In the interest of making it easier for people to participate in the consultation, and to process the responses, the Archdiocese has distilled those 46 questions into a brief online questionnaire available at www.dbqarch.org/2015synod
 
“Pope Francis pulled together a synod on the family,” explained Linda Manternach, director of the Archdiocesan Office of Family Life in a recent article in The Witness, the official archdiocesan publication. “To better prepare (the bishops) for it, he sent out a questionnaire in November 2013. Everyone was quite surprised by it. No one expected this to happen. Usually, in the past, at most, it would just be a questionnaire to bishops and bishops’ conferences. This was asked to go out to all the people in the church.”
 
The Dubuque Archdiocese received about 1,000 responses to the last questionnaire. It covered many topics such as contraception, co-habitation before marriage, re-marriage, same sex unions, and the annulment process, among others. In January 2014, Archbishop Jackels released a summary of the local responses. The information gathered from the questionnaire was sent to Rome and used by bishops during discussions at the 2014 synod.
 
“One of the biggest criticisms that we got of (the 2013 questionnaire used in the 2014 Synod) was that it was very convoluted and was not able to be understood by most people,” said Manternach. “Our purpose in simplifying (the questions) is to help people still answer the questions without feeling like they need a master’s degree in theology to understand the terminology.”
 
Responses are due by Friday, March 13th and will be summarized by Archbishop Michael Jackels. The archdiocesan summary will be sent to the Vatican in April to be incorporated into the working document of the 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops

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John Robbins
Director, Communications Office
Archdiocese of Dubuque
(563) 556-2580 ext. 294
j.robbins@dbqarch.org
www.dbqarch.org
Archdiocese of Dubuque
1229 Mt. Loretta | PO Box 479 | Dubuque, IA 52004-0479
(563) 556-2580 | (800) 876-3546

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