February 15, 2015
OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private.
Msgr. Patrick Powers, conference general secretary, stressed that the questionnaire — slightly rearranged and reworded from a questionnaire put out by the Vatican — is not a survey or poll of Catholic opinion, but a way for bishops to share pastoral insights with Pope Francis and to help bishops plan for their dioceses.
In a Feb. 10 statement that accompanied the questionnaire, Msgr. Powers said individual dioceses could decide whom to consult and whether to focus on certain questions. He also asked that responses be forwarded to the bishops’ conference, so it could pass them on to the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.