Vatican surveys seek input from midstate parishes on marriage, family

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 26, 2013 3:17 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- A survey sent from the Vatican to Catholic dioceses around the globe is making its rounds in midstate parishes.

The 39-questions examine issues of marriage and family ahead of a 2015 meeting of bishops.

It's not unusual for the Vatican to ask bishops for their opinions, but this is the first time such a survey has been so widely distributed.

Director of Marriage and Family Ministries for the Diocese of Harrisburg Victoria Laskowski says she thinks it represents a fresh approach from Pope Francis.

"I think that he does really want to reach out on a pastoral level and the questions being asked are very much pastoral questions," she explains.

The questions fall into nine different categories, including marriage according to natural law.

"It will be interesting to see how it plays out," Laskowski says. "The questions are very involved, very heady questions."

Laskowski says she doesn't expect the survey to bring about changes to Church doctrine, but adds it could change its approach to the doctrine.

The Harrisburg Diocese is leaving it up to individual pastors to decide how widely to distribute the survey.

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