- The social and economic problems of the family should be widely discussed by the Synod, particularly those affecting the most vulnerable, children and women.
- Regarding the divorced and remarried and their admission to the Eucharist, the practice of the early Church should be adopted, as it is done in the Orthodox Church.
- Concerning the Motu Proprio (Apostolic letter) of Pope Francis on the canonical process of nullity of marriage we agree with and welcome the simplification of the procedure, but question the concept of annulment as such.
- Homosexual individuals and same-sex couples should be considered as full members of the Church with every right and every duty.
- 'Humanae Vitae' has not been accepted by the majority of the People of God; couples following their conscience must be respected.
- The Synod should send a clear and public message of repentance to the survivors of clerical sex abuse and their families.
- However much we hope for solutions to these many problems from the presently constituted Synod, we assert that a major flaw of the synod is its clericalized nature and especially the non-representation of the many Catholic family forms we experience in our contemporary world.
We can be silent no longer! Pope Francis has asked all of us to participate in the Synodal process. Your views, your experiences, your very personal stories must be shared: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Reading your stories will help those attending the Synod to fully grasp the beauty, the grace, the challenges, and the heartaches that families experience. Jesus taught through parables and it is only fitting to follow this model to help those attending the Synod to understand the full portrait of family life in a global context.
We have developed a way for you to do this through a non-partisan instrument welcoming all – conservative, liberal, practicing and non-practicing Catholics – to tell their stories. The People Speak Out is comprised of topics of concern to families based on several global surveys conducted over the past two years. Through these surveys you have let it be known the topics that most concern you, all of which have been summarized in our Jubilee Year of Mercy paper. These areas, identified by Catholics worldwide, are of vital concern to Pope Francis’s meeting with the world’s bishops. This meeting on the pastoral needs of families takes place in Rome this October, progressing toward the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning on December 8, 2015.
So, we invite each of you to open your heart and share your stories – your parables – in an unfiltered, unedited, and undirected process with Francis and his bishops. Feel free to respond to any one or all of the topics. We would invite you to stand behind your stories by including your name, email, and country of residence. However, if you prefer anonymity, you may simply sign with something like “a wounded soul from the Netherlands.” Together, we can truly participate in this upcoming Synod by responding to Pope Francis’s call and encouraging our bishops to formulate the principles that unite and serve us to transform the Roman Catholic Church into one that is welcoming to all, inviting to the wounded and downtrodden, and nurturing to all in need of healing.
The People Speak Out: www.SynodBishopsCanYouHearUs.org
The People Speak Out: www.PopeFrancisCanYouHearUs.org
Note: (If you do not see a blue menu on the left, either widen your window or click the small icon at the right of the blue banner above. The icon looks like three lines in a column. This will reveal the menu. Thank you!)
We invite you to share your heartfelt story by clicking on the relevant topic as listed in our main menu. We do not have the resources to verify individual stories, so we rely upon the good faith and veracity of the story teller. We ask that you speak from the heart. For reasons of credibility, we encourage you to provide your real name and country of residence. However, if you have personal concerns about people who might be hurt in your story, you are welcomed to use a pseudonym.
While you are invited to share your stories, blog posts containing personal attacks (e.g. harassment, defamation, or other offensive content) may be reviewed and not posted. If you do not see your post on the blog, it may not yet have been reviewed. On this site, we are inviting people to share their innermost heart and very personal stories about their blessings and struggles with the Roman Catholic Church. We urge all who participate on this site to be respectful.