FutureChurch carries “The Voices of the People” to the Synod
FutureChurch Executive Director Deborah Rose-Milavec will be in Rome for the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the family from October 2 – October 7, 2014.
“I plan to carry with me and share with as many officials as possible the ‘Voices of the People’ report,” said Rose-Milavec. “In it are the experiences, faith, sufferings and hope of 16,582 Catholics who responded to a survey sent out by fifteen U.S. Catholic reform organizations, including FutureChurch, in November and December 2013.”
Dr. Peter J. Fagan from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine analyzed the survey responses and produced the final report. He noted that although the survey was long and tedious to complete, the extraordinary response by the 16,582 faithful was a “testimony to the depth of care and concern they had for the future of the church and the transmission of the Gospel. Their voices deserve to be listened to.”
“That is the reason FutureChurch and Catholic organizations initiated the survey,” said Rose-Milavec, “Catholics deserve to be heard, not out of charity, but because they are baptized. Vatican II and Canon Law attest to their duty ‘to manifest their views on matters which concern the good of the Church (C 212.3).’”
The results of the survey are similar to other sociological data but the number of respondents who self-identified as weekly Massgoers was 52 percent, a surprisingly high number given the overall average is 24 percent according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. 83 three percent were laypeople and 11 percent were vowed religious or ordained, and on the issues of contraception, sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics and same sex relationships
- 1 percent said the teachings of Humanae Vitae were completed accepted. 76 percent supported alternatives.
- 75 percent of divorced and remarried couples felt they could approach the sacraments regardless of church recognition of their union.
- 73 percent said marriage equality was extremely or very important.
“The current configuration of the working groups doesn’t create room for the voices of many Catholics who feel excluded from the life of the Church,” said Rose-Milavec. “The most significant part of our work is pressing for greater inclusion at the Synod. Catholics have a particular wisdom that will help shape the future of our Church. If those in leadership don’t recognize the need to seriously engage those voices, the success of the synod for opening up new pastoral avenues for all families will be at risk.”
To learn more about the “Voices of the People” report go to mycatholicfamily.org. #####