“You’re bonkers Pope Francis !!!”

mary macaleese

Former Irish President Mary Mcaleese, our girl from Ardoyne, doctorate student  in Canon Law at the
Logo gregorian
Gregorian University in Rome

described a plan by Pope Francis to canvass bishops’ opinions on modern family life as




She raised questions about people “who have decided they are not going to have any children, not going to have families, not going to be fathers and not going to be spouses” debating the issue.

What’s all this about?
The Vatican last year sent out a survey to Catholics around the world focusing on attitudes to sex and sexuality.


Bishop Hines welcomed the decision to send out this questionnaire seeking input from lay Catholics around the world ahead of next year’s Synod describing it as “extremely significant”

it’s already received an enthusiastic feedback from the faithful”

“It really responds to the desire for the people, the laity in the Church to be consulted on matters which concern them so deeply.”

“Couples are delighted that they’re going to be involved in the consultations,”

 on the other hand

Vatican Radio reported:
the Holy See’s spokesman has already clarified that Pope Francis has not presented a questionnaire to Catholics worldwide to consult on homosexual unions and divorced persons, as some news outlets have reported. This assertion, made by Italian daily il Fatto Quotidiano among others, is “not true”,” Fr. Federico Lombardi had told Catholic News Agency (CNA) Nov. 2.




make up your mind

Bishop Hines goes on to warn



it will, of course, raise expectations (from the lay faithful) and we have to recognize that and be prepared to work at meeting those expectations in some way.

So what is this Questionnaire?
The document lays out orthodox Church teaching and questions how this is being taught in local parishes and how well it is being received.
Who wrote the questionnaire?


Some of the questions are quite

The first of the 39 questions is already a challenge:

What is it?

Describe how the Catholic Church’s teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible,Gaudium et spes, Familiaris consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today?”

Comment: Heavy Latin verbiage, Far too complicated.

Queries: How could parishioners be expected to understand that the Curia was interested in common-law marriages when it asked about people living together “ad experimentum”?

 Were Catholics meant to understand the questions? I don’t think so.

Example 2:
What place does the idea of the natural law have in the cultural areas of society: in institutions, education, academic circles and among the people at large? What anthropological ideas underlie the discussion on the natural basis of the family?”


Comment: This is hardly a survey. You would need a Master of Philosophy in religious studies to comprehend the terminology in this survey. Quite a few of the 39 questions employed language befitting a doctoral candidate in theology, rather than a salt-of-the-earth parishioner.

Example 3:

One question asking about “Humanae vitae” (an encyclical written by Paul VI in 1968, titled “On Human Life,” which banned the use of contraceptives) caused
total confusion
. “10/ 10 respondents thought it referred to

body lotion

an invigorating body lotion,”.

Queries: if the Bishops wanted to ask their flock for answers why did they not produce a questionnaire that was suited to the average mind in the pew.

What exactly is the purpose of the survey?


The 39-question survey seeks views on issues such as what “pastoral attention” can be given to those in same sex relationships.
It asks whether Christians today are aware of “how morally to evaluate different methods of family planning” and whether “this moral teaching is accepted“.


Anyway . . . . .



Young Catholics in Berlin’s Weissensee neighborhood were asked
Is contraception an option for you?”



For our generation, it’s also a question of responsibility. If you don’t want to become a parent at 16 or 17, you have to use contraception,

If you used contraception, would you confess to it?
not a crime
The church doesn’t have the right to interfere.”

Young Catholics simply do as they please, and yet they still participate in the sacraments.
student during exams
I believe that if God had not wanted us to have sex, he certainly wouldn’t have made it as exciting,”

People from all age groups vented their displeasure to the dioceses. Even in conservative Bavaria, 86% of Catholics do not believe it is a sin to use the pill or condoms, both condemned by the church
total confusion

Hardly anyone among the faithful understands how the various prohibitions are supposed to fit together.


To begin with, couples are not supposed to have sex before marriage. Once they are married, they are not permitted to use birth control. And if the marriage fails, the church has other objections.


People who have been divorced and then remarried, which, according to the wording of the survey, places them in “irregular marriage situations” and excludes them from communion.

letter writing

I have been living in one of these ‘irregular’ situations for the last 14 years, but no one has ever described my situation in such crass terms as this questionnaire. I’m shocked.”

letter writing2


In the more than 30 years of my being divorced then remarried, the church has never shown an interest in me, my problems or my doubts about my faith.”

Key issue: What will Rome do with the results?”

PS Here’s where to find the questionnaire http://www.catholic.org.nz/_uploads/_cknw/files/Synod%20Preapratory%20Document%20Lineamenta%20AEIII%20IN.pdf


pope francis








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