The church must have more confidence in the faithful and take greater heed of decisions of conscience, the German Conference of Religious Superiors says.
Synod on the Family
NCR Today: Which U.S. dioceses are surveying their Catholics to send input to the Vatican for the next Synod of Bishops on the family?
As of Friday morning, 1,100 people have responded to the 20-question survey produced by Catholic Church Reform International.
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests is asking its members not to answer the synod questions, but instead rank them in importance.
NCR Today: If you found the official survey on family life presented to Catholics difficult to answer, try the survey prepared by Strong Catholic Families.
There are not a lot of options for Catholics whose dioceses are not seeking input for the Vatican's synod questionnaire.
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.
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."