4 Feb 2015 | GENERAL INTEREST
With the release of the preparatory document ahead of the Synod on marriage and the family later this year the Catholic Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand are inviting people to contribute to this new phase of the conversation with their own insights and ideas.
The current ‘Synod on Families’ has entered a new phase with Pope Francis asking for a focus on practical pastoral approaches which strengthen the beauty of married life and accompany those whose relationships are not unfolding within the bond of marriage.
The Holy See has sent a further questionnaire to all Catholic Bishops Conferences The New Zealand Bishops have made the questionnaire available online and as a Word document. People are being invited to respond by Monday 9 March.
In an invitation sent to parishes the Bishops said “We are acutely aware of the many people who in their hearts consider themselves Catholic but are not regularly at Church. Please encourage these family members and friends to participate. Also of particular interest to us are those who see themselves as beyond the Church: perhaps some divorced and remarried, or gay women and men. We urge you to share your experiences through the questionnaire. No-one walks beyond the reach of the Good Shepherd.”
Encouraging people to respond individually or following group discussion the Bishops invite people to add their “voice” to the global discussion which began last year which preceded the III Extraordinary Synod held in Rome in October 2014.
“Pope Francis’ voice resounds in the media and in our homes. His extraordinary impact invites us all to consider: what is the impact of our “voice”, our witness, in the environment in which we live and work?” The Bishops said in their invitation: “We can make that kind of reflection as individuals or collectively as a faith community. A synod in fact brings both those streams together. Invited individuals head to Rome not as soloists but as men and women who seek to echo the wisdom and insight that emerges from a collective period of prayer, listening, consultation, and deep reflection.”
Bishop Charles Drennan of Palmerston North will be the Bishop participating in the Synod to be held in Rome later this year.