Here comes the 17th supporter of Family Survey flaws raised by CCV

"John Dayal from Delhi,  a well known international journalist, Social activist and TV debate participant in defense of Catholic issues writes as the 17th supporter of Family Survey flaws raised by CCV."

Comment  No.17. "John Dayal,, July 24/15, Delhi

James, your persistence deserves an award, perhaps a Pulitzer.

It is quite clear that the Family Survey in India is deeply flawed, does not represent the ground reality, and does not meet the rigorous criteria any one versed in operational research and statistics will approve. 

It is patent that the responses will have a clerical skewness.The survey has been  seen as a chore that needs to be fulfilled because  the task has been set by the Vatican. It has not been seen as something which, in its data and its analysis, could be of immense use to the church in India in formulating its pastoral and evangelical policy for the next half a century.

I think blame must be shared by each one of us — from those in Rome who did not realise the complexity and  socio-cultural diversity in this subcontinental country, to those incharge of dioceses and their Family commissions, down to people such as I and you. This is not running down the work done by Alan Doulton of Pune. He must be honoured for being the only lay person to have done some hard work in difficult circumstances in a  difficult part of the country which may host some big institutions but is not exactly a strong Catholic region. But huge chunks of the Catholic community have been entirely left out. Judging by the total absence of voices from the North east, the Tribal areas, Telengana and Andhra, and the Punjab, it is quite clear that the Family Synod discourse has not touched them at all. Or almost not all.

All Is not lost. Some  data can be trawled from the official census documentation and the National Sample Survey of the government on such issues as divorce. But nuanced data and attitudes to issues or gender violence, dowry, alcoholism and the situation of the girl child will need expert work by specialist agencies — not by parish priests even if they are designated as  secretaries of family commission.

As for I, before the Extraordinary Synod last year, I made several efforts to have a scientifically representative survey  done. But was shot down. And not just by the clergy. I withdrew, defeated for the moment.

God bless you.


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1 Response

  1. almayasabdam says:
    Zac Nedunkanal wrote: We lay people or exactly said, the Citizens of the Church, have, as John Dayal says, a far better concept of the needs of the Church in the modern world. The Clergy and their prelates (I say their prelates, because these don't show any cencern at all about the problems of the lay people and therefore they don't have to care about the prelates) have not given any thought so far about changing attitudes of people towards the church and its superficial spirituality or about issues of rite differences, mixed – inter rite or inter caste – marriages, gender violence, dowry, alcoholism, the situation of the girl child and the families separated from spouses and kids on account of job seeking in other parts of the country or abroad. The clery and the bishops have no concern about such grievous issues. At least at the urging of the Pope, they should have give attention to constituting groups of experts and specialist agencies to do the study. The family commissions supposed to be existing have just one lay member for name's sake, the rest are priests or parish vicars, who are not in any way suited for the job. We have only heard of one family commission under the CCBI – under bishop Lauwrence Pius – which has only Alan Doultan as a lay member! The bishops in Kerala also now and then com up with 'Almaya' commissions with just one lay member and the rest being the bishop himself or priests at his beck and call. So for all practical purposes, it is better to forget the whole clergy in matters that concern the church, catholic or provincial.

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