The following document contains a number of questions that the Synod of Bishops has circulated in advance of its next sitting. The hope is that as many groups and individuals as possible might take time to read this document, consider the questions and submit their thoughts. With that in mind, we hope you will become involved in this process. It is not anticipated that everybody will answer all the questions. If there are any of them that you feel strongly about or have a view you’d like to share, why not take this opportunity. Your voice and opinion matter.
Among the range of other questions directed at the bishops’ conferences, the Vatican also asks:
- How church teachings might better be promoted and known.“The Church’s Magisterium in all its richness needs to be better known by the People of God,” the document states. “Marital spirituality is nourished by the constant teaching of the Pastors, who care for the flock, and grow through their continual attentiveness to the Word of God and to the sacraments of faith and charity.”
“What initiatives in catechesis can be developed and fostered to make known and offer assistance to persons in living the Church’s teaching on the family, above all in surmounting any possible discrepancy between what is lived and what is professed and in leading to a process of conversion?” the document asks.
- How the Catholic theological notion of the indissolubility of marriage can better be respected.“What is being done to demonstrate the greatness and beauty of the gift of indissolubility so as to prompt a desire to live it and strengthen it more and more?” the document asks.
“How can people be made to understand that Christian marriage corresponds to the original plan of God and, thus, one of fulfillment and not confinement?” it asks at a different point.
- How the church might provide “pastoral care” to those living together outside of marriage.“What criteria in a proper pastoral discernment of individual situations are being considered in light of the Church’s teaching in which the primary elements of marriage are unity, indissolubility and openness to life?” the document asks.
“Is the Christian community able to be pastorally involved in these situations?” it asks at a different point. “How can it assist in discerning the positive and negative elements in the life of persons united in a civil marriage so as to guide and sustain them on a path of growth and conversion towards the Sacrament of Matrimony? How can those living together be assisted to decide to marry?”