This week the Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican released another questionnaire that Pope Francis has directed be sent to all the world’s conferences of bishops with specific directions that they are to seek input from ALL levels of the church and to see that the questionnaire is disseminated for the laity to respond to it. It is to be used to stimulate discussion, once again surrounding the issues of the Family for the Ordinary Synod of Bishops meeting to be held in October of 2015, This new questionnaire includes questions on the controversial 3 paragraphs that did not receive the 2/3 majority vote at the end of the Extraordinary Synod meeting that completed its work this last October. The meeting in October produced a document called the Relation Synodi (Synod Report) which contains the paragraps voted on which were the results of all their discussions. For a paragraph to be included in the Relatio document it was to have a 2/3 majority vote. The three paragraphs are still included in this document at the request of Pope Francis because they clearly had a strong majority vote, just not 2/3. These 3 paragraphs had to do with Communion for the divorced and remarried and pastoral care to gay people. If you follow the link below, you can access this new document, called a Lineamenta, which includes both the Relatio document from the end of the October meeting just concluded, the first parts of what you see at this link, and the questions, 46 in all. These questions have better wording than the questionnaire released last December by the Secretariat for the Synod to prepare for the session this past October. The paragraphs that did not receive the 2/3 majority vote, but still included on the final Relatio document are 51, 52, and 55, found in this new document, prior to the questions. When this document was originally posted on the Vatican website, it had included, at Pope Francis’ order, the vote count for and against for each paragraph. Today when I access that original posting the vote count is not included. I printed off the original Relatio document when it was first posted right after the October session ended….good thing! The reform group that I am working with, Catholic Church Reform International, is planning on creating an on-line tool to collect responses to these questions. They will then collate that data, as they did for the first questionnaire, and prepare a report that they will then submit to the Secretariat for the Synod, as they successfully did this year, and to various cardinals and bishops with whom they have established connections, some of them quite prominent in the synod process. Stay tuned! As soon as I have information on how to access that on-line tool, I will post it here. In the meantime, happy bedtime reading with this new document……Reyanna.
To access the document, click here.