Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday November 17th. 2013
 Questionnaire  The Church and the modern family Extraordinary synod on the Family Pope Francis has made us aware of his deep concern for family life in the modern world as being the very basis of the Church, the Body of Christ. The Vatican 11 document, Gaudium et Spes, defines the beauty of married love between husband and wife, who have become one body, and where the fruits of their love, their children, can be brought up in a home which is a sanctuary where God is loved and the faith flourishes
Pope Francis wishes to have an Extraordinary Synod on the family next October, and he instructed  a team of experts to prepare a paper with a series of questions to be sent to every diocese in the world and made available, not only to the clergy, but especially to the laity to seek their thoughts on  the important issues that affect so many families in the world of today. The Holy Father has been congratulated on his initiative and groundbreaking decision to involve married people whose response to the questions will be of especial interest to him and the Synod. I have made copies available for anyone who wishes to take part in the questionnaire. You may not wish to answer all the questions, but only the ones you think are the most relevant at the present moment. Make a note of the question number, and your reply. You may leave it unsigned should you wish. Unfortunately, the team who composed the questions in good faith, unwittingly made them difficult to understand because of the vocabulary they have used. One gets the impression that they are academics and not fully aware how to pose questions that can be easily understood by ordinary people.  The aim, surely, is to discover current experiences and attitudes
to family life among the faithful, and one would expect to have clearly defined and easy to understand questions. However, you will find in the questionnaire most of the problems relating to marriage  in the modern family, and Pope Francis seeks and honest reply from you as to how you think the Church should act in the best interests of the family, but still adhering to God's law. The questionnaire addresses the positive aspects  of  what a good marriage should be, and also the difficulties which many couples experience such as: · the number of children they can have; · the Church’s teaching on contraception and the primacy of conscience; · cohabitation, couples unwilling to make a commitment for life; · the breakdown of marriage, divorce and remarriage; · the pastoral care of divorced and remarried Catholics as regards receiving holy communion · Same-sex “marriages” The time allotted to this is very short, and your reply must be returned to the chapel house by November 30th. The replies from all over the world will be collated and presented to the Synod of bishops meeting in Rome next October.
Same-Sex Marriage Bill Bishop Joseph reminds us that the Scottish parliament will debate the Same-sex Marriage bill on Wednesday 20th November. This is an important debate on the principles of the bill and needs a strong voice in favour of traditional marriage. It is likely that MSPS will support the bill but if some don’t it gives a greater chance of important safeguards on religious freedom being added to the bill during its remaining stages. Therefore could you include the following insert in the parish bulletin this weekend:   “Members of the Scottish Parliament need to hear from supporters of traditional marriage ahead of a debate on the issue on Wednesday 20th  Please ask your MSPs not to redefine marriage. You can find details about your MSPs from the Public Information team of the Parliament on 0131 348 5000.”