Releasing results of family survey would mean defying Pope, says bishops’ conference official

Bishops’ conferences that have released their responses to the family synod questionnaire are defying the Pope’s wishes, the general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales has said.

In a letter to members of the Church reform group, A Call to Action, (ACTA) General Secretary to the Catholic Bishops Conference for England and Wales,(CBCEW) Mgr Marcus Stock said: “It was Cardinal Baldisseri who wrote to the President of the Bishops’ Conference requesting that the summary, resulting from the responses of the various dioceses, not be made public. My understanding is that a similar request was sent to other Episcopal Conferences around the world. To the best of my knowledge, of the 85 or so Episcopal Conferences who had responded to the consultation by February 2014, only four have published the summary which they sent to the Holy See.

“As the consultation was instigated by and is clearly very dear to the heart of Pope Francis, and given that Cardinal Baldisseri has been the Holy Father’s chief collaborator in developing the framework and the process of the consultation, I am sure that you and the majority of the Catholic faithful would agree that it would not be appropriate therefore for this Bishops’ Conference to take any steps in respect of the consultation process which might betray the trust of, or go against the expressed wishes of, the Holy Father.”

What survey? I didn’t get a survey. Is they survey skewed?

This is very interesting, I didn’t know these surveys were not suppossed to be released.

Our huge Jesuit parish was part of the survey. I was really hoping to view the results. I’m sure that the results would be quite shocking to most rad trads…:eek:

I may not understand this issue fully, but the way I understand it, none of the results were to be published, according to the wishes of Pope Francis. Also, it seems to me that another Vatican political storm may be brewing.

Jim - The survey was sent to each of the Bishops. Some of the Bishops asked for laity input and others didn’t.

I have been reading the one from Japan. The Church is a sad state.

The German & Swiss ones are available as well.

We were given a link to the survey in our News Bulletin and a short piece on the importance of it and encouragement to complete it. From the recent issue of the diocesan magazine, it seems that I was one of the few in our diocese who made the effort to fill it in. I would imagine that they are going to have a hard time working with the results knowing that it only represents the minority.

Our bishop released the results online and in letters in all the parish bulletins. Would be very interesting to find out if he did it in defiance of the Pope’s wishes.

Interesting. Good research. I hope no rules were broken on releasing this info.

I have always thought this much talked about “survey” (of which I have not ever been surveyed with) is a quite clever tool that will be used to help the Church minister to the flock. People LOVE the idea that their voice is heard and they feel that even the Church is a “democracy” And many also know what the Church “officially” teaches and can give you the “Catholic” answer about issues such as abortion and homosexual “marriage” and women priests and communion after a divorce and remarriage. But a large number of people do not agree with or understand these positions. However they know better (or sometimes not) than to speak loudly and freely about this.

This survey is perfect for that. They “feel” that their voice for hope and change will be heard and the Church will “progress” forward by the voice of the people… BUt what really is happening is that the Pope, and other pastoral people will get probably the most accurate account of the spiritual state of the Church and what needs to be addressed that we have ever had. Ordinary people may think that if they voice their liberal opinions that maybe the CHurch will listen. Oh she will listen all right! But perhaps not in the way they expect.

It is a valuable tool. As long as it is secret. If it becomes too public then people will just say “see, the Church will not listen to us” But if majorities of Catholics have poor catechesis then we can address that.

When it came out I wondered how many non-Catholics would also fill it in.

The rad trads are the fleas on the body of Christ; the rad libs are the plaque in His arteries. :wink:

I had to delete some posts. Please no name calling

It is foolish to think that in today’s communication environment that you can keep the survey and its results secret.

One of the first responses was a new agency did a parallel survey and announced the results long before the bishops could compile and distribute theirs.

We are well served to know the thoughts and knowledge of Catholics around the world. To hold it secret is foolish and counter productive. Foolish because it is not possible. Counterproductive because the truth is always useful to good. Sometimes it is complex but that is simply the way of things.

Bureaucrats (yes the church has some) always want to control knowledge. They can’t any more. This is a good thing


I doubt it was to control knowledge so much as to control the media frenzy. Nothing in the three reports I read were anything surprising. They just confirmed what we all know anyway. That for the general Catholic population, God isn’t their first priority (or in many cases a priority at all)

Yes, agreed. I think it’s important to also point out that the main intention of these surveys is to scope out the territory – for the purposes of reclaiming it, i.e., finding ways to work against secularism toward a much wider acceptance of the Church’s teachings. It’s not to gauge how popular or unpopular the teachings are with the laity.

I thought that the purpose of the survey was to get the bishops’ evaluation of the state of opinion in their own diocese. A bishop knows his diocese. He does not need to send out the survey to a selected sampling of his own flock. Such a method cannot help but be selective and misleading. Maybe I am wrong but I thought that what was wanted was the bishop’s evaluation based on his own knowledge.

I would challenge this strongly. The people who were responding were mostly the people who go to Mass weekly. These people pray, work and live to serve God and their communities.

Good people can have formed conscience carefully. They may and may not agree with the Magesterium. History has shown that the Church leadership has often been good and godly.
Sometime, it has been very ungodly. Sometimes it has done evil, as when it killed people or had them killed.

The church for many centuries thought women were inferior and a mistake. They were not thought to be reliable witnesses or capable of good thought (with a few exceptions). This makes St Catherine even more impressive that she is and she is really impressive.


Oh geesh. Pointing out that the Church that has been ungoldy at times. is deflection. Thinking that just because someone goes to weekly Mass that they are theologically in a position to tell the Church what is right is downright silly.

Most people who attend weekly Mass contracept. But that can’t be ight.

Or can it?

The request as it came from Archbishop Baldisseri was that it be distributed as widely as possible (to parishes and deaneries) so that local knowledge can be accessed.

Origional document:

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