Survey says? The Vatican is requesting feedback from laypeople!
The Vatican is preparing for the extraordinary synod on marriage and family life, which will be held next October. There is news, however, in the preparation that they are doing.
The Vatican will be asking for input from laypeople. According to the National Catholic Reporter, "The survey was sent by the Vatican in mid-October to national bishops' conferences around the world. An accompanying letter signed by Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri asks that the conferences distribute the poll "immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.""
In many countries—England and Wales to start—the bishops have already put the survey online.
At this point, it is not looking as though the USCCB will be following suit. The document sent to the bishops “requests the observations of the members of the Conference,” but does not seem to require the same level of detailed poll-taking that is happening elsewhere. According to NCR, the USCCB has indicated through a spokesperson that they will be following "the usual process" in communicating these observations.
The concern, of course, is that the lived experience of Catholics in the United States will now be filtered through the USCCB. So there some people are stepping up and taking matters into their own hands. The folks over at Catholic in Alliance for the Common Good, a Catholic non-profit organization in D.C., decided to put their own survey online. This survey simply takes the questions that were included in the Vatican document, and puts them into a survey format online. You can take and submit the survey here.
Image: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia.