Letter writers missed point about questionnaire


To the Editor:
Perhaps due to misleading comments in the media, letter writers in the 11/20 edition of The Catholic Messenger missed the origin and purpose of the marriage and family life questionnaire. The questionnaire on the Diocese of Davenport’s website and in the Messenger is the Vatican’s, not a creation of the diocese.
The media treats the questionnaire as a public opinion poll for use by the Vatican in the way politicians do to adjust their “message.” The Church has only one message, derived from Scripture and tradition. The questionnaire deals with what Catholics understand of the message, and what influences exist in each geographic area that either conflict with the message or hopefully make it more meaningful to contemporary Catholics. Using this tool, the synod may result in different approaches to the message.
Many of the questions require pastors to respond based on their knowledge of parishioner actions and thoughts gained through pastoral ministry. The opportunity to respond personally allows parishioners to address issues they may not have discussed with their pastors.
With approximately 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, the need to summarize responses is obvious.  If only 10 percent responded, it would require more than the period of the synod just to read them!
Glenn Leach
St. Ann Parish, Long Grove

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