December 3, 2013 // Local

Diocese surveying Catholics on beliefs, practices for synod

MISHAWAKA — The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will be conducting a 20 question online survey of Catholics through Dec. 16

This survey is part of a questionnaire sent to all the national bishops’ conferences of the world in preparation for an extraordinary synod of bishops that will take place in Rome in October of 2014.

The main focus of this special synod will be on pastoral issues dealing with the Church’s teachings on marriage and family life. All the pastors of the diocese will be receiving a more extensive survey dealing with many of the same issues.

It was only this past October that Pope Francis called for the third extraordinary synod to be held since Pope Paul VI reinstituted synods in 1965 to periodically advise him on specific topics. Extraordinary synods are defined in canon law as intended to “deal with matters which require a speedy solution.” Synod participants will primarily be presidents of national bishops’ conferences, the heads of Eastern Catholic Churches and the heads of major Vatican offices, totaling about 150 people, according to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

Unfortunately, due to the short timespan for preparing for this extraordinary synod next year, there is not much time to conduct these diocesan surveys. The Holy See is asking that episcopal conferences send in their responses by the end of this coming January. This, in turn, means that dioceses across the country need to send in a report to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the end of this month. Consequently, a mid-December deadline has been established for our diocesan surveys in order to properly prepare this report.

Catholics interested in participating may access the survey through Dec. 16 at the homepage of the diocesan website ( There will be a Spanish version of the survey as well.

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.