The National Catholic Reporter said Thursday the Vatican asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to conduct a wide-ranging poll of Catholics, asking for their opinions on church teachings on same-sex marriage, contraception and divorce.
Archibisop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the conferences to distribute the poll “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received,” the NCR report reads.
The Synod of Bishops is an advisory body for the pope, established after the Second Vatican Council in the 1965. The upcoming synod, which Pope Francis announced earlier this month, will be held Oct. 5-19, 2014.
Baldisseri distributed a letter and questionnaire to the presidents of the world’s individual bishops’ conferences Oct. 18. It asks the conferences to quiz their populations on the topics that sometimes have sharply divided the United States church.
The topics the bishops’ conferences are asked in the Vatican document to question their Catholic populations include “How persons in same-sex marriages are treated and how children they may adopt are cared for.”