Holy Father seeks feedback from the faithful on their experience of the Church
February 2, 2022
Pope Francis wants to know what you think.
That’s the message to Catholics around the world as the Vatican announces an October 2023 synod on synodality.
Those are novel words for a process of discernment by a gathering of bishops, or synod, supported by the participation of the faithful and their feedback on their sense of integration into the life and mission of the Church.
The effort is titled “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission.”
In the Archdiocese of Omaha, Catholics are being asked to share their experiences through a series of listening sessions with pastors, pastoral councils and other parish groups.
Feedback has already been gathered from groups that often lack a voice, such as prison inmates, homeless people, immigrants, nursing home residents and others.
And, all Catholics, age 13 and older, are asked to share their experiences of the Church through an online questionnaire at archomaha.org/synod/. The 18-question survey will be available Feb. 5-28 and should take 5-10 minutes to complete. Non-Catholics are also welcome to complete the survey.
Parishes will provide printed copies of the survey for those without internet access.
The survey asks participants to share their opinions on their feelings of connectedness and participation in the life and evangelizing mission of their parish and the Church.
“I hope for a wide participation by active Catholics and others within our archdiocese in the synodal process,” said Archbishop George J. Lucas. “ This process will help us hear directly about the blessings, the limitations and the hopes being experienced in and with the Church here. I look forward to sharing our experiences with Pope Francis, as he discerns how to guide us on our journey together in faith.”
The results of the questionnaires and listening sessions will be compiled into a 10-page summary and sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The summary also will be published on the archdiocesan website this summer.
The USCCB will combine results from the archdiocese with those of dioceses throughout the country and send the synopsis to the Vatican for study and reflection.
Synods are held periodically for bishops to discuss topics of theological or pastoral significance and offer their feedback and advice to the pope.
In a letter to pastors kicking off the effort, the archbishop said: “This worldwide consultation about the Church’s life and mission is a daunting project. At the same time, Pope Francis is sincere in his hope that even this process of sharing will strengthen the bonds of our life in Christ.”