Questionnaire to be completed by Young People
To involve young people in preparations for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018, the Vatican has released the long-awaited online questionnaire YOUNG PEOPLE, THE FAITH AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT to better understand the lives, attitudes and concerns of 16- to 29-year-olds around the world. The questionnaire - available in English, Spanish, French and Italian - is open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief:
Click on https://survey-synod2018.glauco.it/limesurvey/index.php/147718 and choose your language in the top right drop-down menu.
Given the Church's tradition of strict adherence to rules that many feel need to be reevaluated, there is widespread concern for her well-being. Many feel that its future rests in the hands of young people which underscores the importance of this questionnaire. Pope Francis has invited youth from all over the world regardless of whether you are Catholic or not, whether you attend Church or not. The questionnaire is purposefully anonymous so that young people feel free to offer an honest sharing of themselves.
The list of 53 mostly multiple-choice questions is divided into seven sections: general personal information; attitudes and opinions about oneself and the world; influences and relationships; life choices; religion, faith and the church; internet use; and two final, open-ended questions.
Missing from the Questionnaire
It is a well-known fact that many young people have turned away from the Church. Why? Because they are more open to a rapidly changing world, having grown up in it without the prejudices of prior generations. From this vantage point, they see the grace of God in fresher and more vibrant terms than a Church governed by older generations. From the perspective of those of us interested in bringing about needed reform in the church, the questionnaire noticeably avoids raising widely discussed topics, particularly those directly related to the:
1. right of the members to participate in the decision-making of the Church
2. welcoming of all to the Eucharist recognizing it as a sacrament of healing not reward.
3. treatment of the LGBT community
4. equality of women in the Church
5. sexual abuse issue by Catholic priests
6. responsible parenthood vs. the prohibition of artificial contraception
7. couples living together prior to marriage
8. couples entering into inter-faith relationships
The only question that opens the door to address any of these issues or others of particular concern to various cultures is the last question: What do you want to tell people about yourself which has not been asked in this questionnaire? We strongly urge you to utilize this question to share your heartfelt concerns for any needs you might have that are currently not being addressed by the Church or by the parish with which you might be associated. We believe that the future of the Roman Catholic Church is in the hands of young people, If the Church is to continue, she needs the voices of young people to speak up but only if you offer your genuine beliefs and experiences. The Spirit does not speak only through the ordained ministry.
The Church is critically in need of authentic voices speaking up and being heard at this Synod. Unlike the two Synods on the Family that were attended almost entirely by Bishops, Catholic Church Reform Int'l encourages the Holy Father to change the dynamics of this Synod on Youth by filling the chamber with Young People so that it looks more like this:
The answers to the questionnaire, along with contributions from bishops, bishops' conferences and other church bodies, "will provide the basis for the drafting of the 'instrumentum laboris,'" or working document for the assembly, synod officials said last January. It would also be helpful to have all of you who work closely with young people to complete the questionnaire.
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Share this link on your Facebook Page and on your Twitter account. Let's encourage young people worldwide of all faiths to complete this questionnaire: https://survey-synod2018.glauco.it/limesurvey/index.php/147718
Thank you for your contributions and continued support. Your donations make it possible for us to continue our work to bring needed reform to the Roman Catholic Church.
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It is amazing how similar the battle for national rights parallels the battle for church rights. This week I received an email from civil rights activist and Georgia house representative, John Lewis. He was a friend of Martin Luther King and was brutally beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 while marching for civil rights. In his email, he said: "While we have made progress toward a vision of a more fair, just and open country, the majority of Americans are afraid this country is headed in the wrong direction.... Some leaders reject decades of progress and want to return to the dark past, when the power of law was used to deny the freedoms protected by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and its Amendments."
Does that sound familiar for those of us who are working steadily for the reform of our Church? Could we not utter these very same words? "While we have made progress toward a vision of a more fair, just and open [church] , the majority of [people] are afraid this [church] is still headed in the wrong direction....Some [church] leaders reject decades of progress and want to return to the dark past, when the power of law was used to deny [the message of Jesus that is recorded in the Gospels."
Lewis went on to say: "It took massive, well-organized, non-violent dissent and criticism of this great nation and its laws to move toward a greater sense of equality in America....Often, the only way we could demonstrate that a law on the books violated a higher law was by challenging that law. By putting our bodies on the line and showing the world the unholy price we had to pay for dignity and respect."
We are delighted by the many people who take time to send short reponses, generally of appreciation, for our newsletters. The Directors and Strategy Team take note of all they say.
From time to time there is a longer response which the CCRI leadership would like to share more widely..