Pope Francis seeks input from Kiwis on Catholic Church leadership
“Pope Francis wants to hear from you” is the message the Catholic Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, is using to invite people – Catholic or not – to participate in a survey for an international synod on guidance future of the Church.
The Church around the world is leading a two-year synod process to let the Pope know what ordinary Catholics think. Started by Pope Francis last October, the process is currently asking Catholics in parishes and dioceses for their input.
Bishop of Auckland and secretary of the New Zealand Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Stephen Lowe, says the country’s six dioceses have seized the opportunity for people to have a say in synod conversations that take place in parishes, schools and church organizations.
“We also want to hear from people who are Catholic but may not have much or no contact with the Church, or who are not Catholic but may have opinions about the Church, so we are asking for comments to those who have not been contacted. at the parish and diocesan level,” Bishop Lowe said.
The survey is conducted on Stuff and on social networks such as Facebook. Beneath a photograph of Pope Francis, he asks people if they felt welcomed and supported by Catholics, how Catholics could better journey with people, were they currently connected to a Catholic faith community and what other comments they would like to share.
“Catholics are encouraged to participate themselves, but also to invite their non-Catholic friends and families to share their thoughts,” Bishop Lowe said. “Most parishes and all dioceses have ways for parishioners to contribute to the process. This survey is for people who are not affected in this way.
This national feedback survey closes March 22. The diocesan part of the synod process ends in March or April depending on the diocese. The New Zealand Conference of Catholic Bishops will then prepare a report which will eventually form part of the comments at the Synod of Bishops Worldwide in Rome in October next year.
This synod process is officially called For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission. This is the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church. A synod of bishops is considered an advisory body to the Pope.
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