East Texas parishes encouraged to get involved in Vatican survey

Tyler (KYTX) -- It's being called a unique opportunity. The Vatican is asking Catholic church members what they think about social topics like divorce, gay marriage, and contraception.

"So new challenges facing the family, and the new challenges facing the institution of marriage as a whole," Rev. Justin Braun, with the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler, said.

The poll is broken down into 8 sections in response to a changing, modern society. Braun says bishops around the globe received the surveys, which were distributed to local parishes.

"It's a great moment and it's a scary moment for a lot of people, because there's a lot to juggle. Politics have become so dominant in people's lives," Braun said.

Since the makeup of the family is changing, Braun explains the goal is to better respond to these situations, without changing the Church's beliefs.

"It's looking at how we can maybe change the tone or change the discipline," Braun said.

We wanted to get an idea about what some of those conversations might look like.

"With the way society is going, there's a lot of controversy on gay marriage," Tim Schmitt, a senior at TK Gorman, said.

And there are things addressed in the Vatican document, also concerning these teens.

"A lot of families don't have both parents at the same house, and I guess forming a family before marriage is another thing that's really common right now," Sarah Kent, another senior at TK Gorman, said.

For Catholics to get involved, simply sit down with your pastor and give your thoughts on how to approach family issues going forward.

Braun expects to submit responses and input this spring. The survey is ahead of a major meeting Pope Francis has planned for next year.


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