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L.A. Catholics invited to participate in survey on the family

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Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are invited to participate in an online survey tied to the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops called for next year by Pope Francis.

The Synod, to be held Oct. 5-19, 2014, will address the theme, “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” To prepare for the Synod, the Vatican is consulting with every archdiocese and diocese in the world, and has issued a Preparatory Document that includes a series of questions.

“Archbishop José Gomez and the Archdiocesan Family Life Office would like Catholics to assist in responding to the Vatican’s survey,” said Msgr. Joseph Brennan, archdiocesan Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General, in a letter. “To that end, the Archdiocese has developed an on-line survey and is inviting Catholics to take part.”

The archbishop has approved this survey, which is based on the questions proposed in the Preparatory Document, said Msgr. Brennan.

All information provided will remain anonymous and confidential and the results of this survey will not be published but will only be provided to the Synod of Bishops.

The Church’s teachings on marriage and the family can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (nos. 1601-1658, 2331-2391). The survey (to be available in Spanish and Korean) will be available until December 31.

Further information and background, along with the survey, can be found at: http://surveys.la-archdiocese.org/.

According to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Pope Francis’ Oct. 8 decision to call an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family demonstrates how important he believes the family is and the urgency he sees in responding to problems Christian families face.

In October, the council held a plenary assembly, for which the council published (in Spanish and Italian) a collection of 35 speeches, homilies and texts by the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on family-related themes. The material from 1999 up until his election as Pope Francis demonstrates how his teaching method hasn't changed, said Conventual Franciscan Father Gianfranco Grieco, a council official.

The texts are marked by "clear, immediate and direct concepts that sensitize hearts, shake dozing consciences and provoke people's intelligence," Father Grieco said. It's a step-by-step process that "starts from people's hearts, from wanting to touch hearts."

The council, he said, will try to have French and English translations of the book available in time for the Synod in 2014.

Catholic News Service contributed to this story.

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