METUCHEN –The Most Rev. Paul G. Bootkoski, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, is calling for the more than 650,000 Catholics of the four-county diocese to complete and submit a brief online survey focused on pastoral challenges faced by families today.
The diocese created the survey in response to Holy See’s request for local feedback to be considered prior to the upcoming Extraordinary Synod of Bishops to be held Oct. 5 to 19, 2014 in Rome, Italy. The meeting, convened by His Holiness Pope Francis, will be on the theme, ‘The pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelization.’
The multiple choice and open-ended survey questions posed by the diocese are based on a preparatory document issued by the Vatican, which seeks the opinions of the faithful on issues related to Church teachings on family life including marriage and children; separation, divorce and remarriage; annulments; same-sex unions; and reception of the Sacraments.
“I urge all those who have been baptized in the Catholic faith to participate in this survey as it is my desire to prepare and submit a summary to the Vatican that truly reflects the attitudes of the people in our diocese,” said Bishop Bootkoski.
“It doesn’t matter if you go to Mass regularly or on occasion, if you’re actively involved in parish ministry or if you’ve fallen away from the Church. Please know that your voice matters and we want to hear from you,” the bishop added.
Available in English and Spanish, the survey for practicing and non-practicing Catholics who reside in Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties will be available online Dec. 5 through Dec. 16 and may be accessed through the diocesan website, at http://diometuchen.org/survey-for-the-synod-on-families.
It is the first time a Pope has asked all Bishops to widely share such a survey with clergy and parishioners in preparation for a synod.
The request for local participation leading up to the synod originated Oct. 18 when the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, sent a document with several pages of questions, along with a letter asking Catholic bishops around the globe to share them “as widely as possible” with members of their deaneries and parishes “so that input from local sources can be received.”
Archbishop Baldisseri’s letter also asked bishops “to follow the most brief and practical…process” in order to meet an end-of-January deadline. His correspondence then was forwarded to all U.S. Bishops by Rev. Msgr. Ronny E. Jenkins, J.C.D., Secretary General of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who will collect the U.S. Bishop’s responses no later than December 31.
According to Msgr. Jenkins’ October 30 memo to bishops, the December deadline “will allow for a suitable time period to collate the information in order to meet the deadline provided by Archbishop Baldisseri.”
The complete preparatory document is featured on the Vatican website, at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20131105_iii-assemblea-sinodo-vescovi_en.html
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