Our Diocese

Synod 2015: A Summary of Responses to the Consultation

In October 2015, bishops and delegates from all over the world will meet with Pope Francis  in Rome for the Synod on the Family, entitled ‘The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.’ 

Ahead of this Synod, and following on from last year’s Synod in October, entitled ‘The Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelisation’, the Holy Father asked us to spend time reflecting on these themes with ‘true spiritual discernment.’ In response to this call a document for reflection entitled ‘The Call, the Journey and the Mission’, was circulated, the purpose of which was to encourage clergy and laity to consider the great gift of marriage and family life.  This period of consultation ran from the Feast of the Holy Family in 2014 to the Solemnity of Pentecost on May 24th 2015, during which time many people throughout the Diocese of Westminster responded generously to the Holy Father’s call, submitting their reflections on their own marriages and family lives. 

Altogether, 155 people sent in replies online, of which 4 of these were from priests. Across 22 parishes, a further 275 took part in group discussions and we estimate that within this same cohort of parishes, 12 other group submissions probably involved around a further 150 people.  We therefore estimate that the total number of people who responded to the reflection questions in the Diocese of Westminster is approximately 580. AVAILABLE NOW is a summary report of all those responses.  The complete report with all the comments, replies and submissions that we received during the period of consultation is available on request from the Marriage & Family Life Office.

Your thoughts
  • Eccles
    Posted 26th September 2015 at 5:18am

    This is a disgrace. We should not rely on poorly catechised laymen to decide what church doctrine on marriage and the family should be. The bishops of England and Wales have fallen down on their duty to act as shepherds of the flock - they are asking the sheep to lead them.

  • Colette Joyce
    Posted 25th September 2015 at 5:30pm

    Thank you for publishing this response to the second consultation. Where can I get a copy of the responses to the first consultation?

  • mark jordan
    Posted 16th September 2015 at 3:27pm

    It is great to have a dialogue about family life and to read the thoughts of other parishioners. This is most encouraging and a real step forward. I remain concerned though that some of the thornier questions are still being ducked (presumably out of anxiety as to what people might say?). Maybe we will have the courage to discuss these together more openly in the not too distant future. Thank you.

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