A NCR investigation of websites and online publications found that roughly 52 percent of Latin-rite archdioceses and dioceses have begun to gather information in some capacity.
Synod on the Family
Catholics who want to give input to their local bishops ahead of October's global Synod of Bishops on the family have ample opportunity -- but they better hurry.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private.
"The purpose of the synod is to ... develop pastoral practices that reach out to Catholics who have not felt welcomed because they do not entirely conform to current teaching."
Pope Francis has ratified elections of prelates from around the world to participate in October's Synod of Bishops, including four U.S. bishops.
NCR Today: "Where would our society be without the social benefits families provide? The state would be totally overburdened without families."
The October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was not the scene of "a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops," a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod "for the good of families, the church and society," Pope Francis said.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn also said open controversy is "absolutely essential" when discussing the future of the Catholic church.
The Vatican has asked national bishops' conferences to seek input from Catholics at "all levels" for the 2015 Synod of Bishops -- and asked them to avoid basing input solely on current doctrine.
South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier at one point said the 2014 event had put Catholic prelates in "a position that is virtually irredeemable."