WelCom April 2022
During March the Catholic Church in New Zealand invited people – Catholic or not – to fill in a survey and have their say on the future direction of the Church. The intention of the survey was to reach people who are not part of parish or Church communities.
Their feedback will inform the landmark international synod, which is taking place over a two-year period culminating in a meeting of the Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.
Bishop of Auckland and Secretary of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Stephen Lowe, says the country’s six dioceses have embraced the opportunity for people to have their say in synod conversations that have been taking place in parishes, schools and Church organisations.
However, he said the Church also wanted to hear from people who are Catholic but may not have much or any contact with the Church, or who are not Catholic but might have views on the Church.
‘Through the survey we are asking for feedback from people who haven’t been reached at the parish and diocesan level,’ Bishop Lowe said.
The survey was run on Stuff news media website and in social media such as Facebook. It asked people whether they have felt welcomed and supported by Catholics, how Catholics could journey with people better, were they currently connected to a Catholic faith community, and what other comments they would like to share.
The diocesan part of the global synod process finishes in March or April this year, depending on the diocese. The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference will then prepare a report that will eventually be part of feedback to the Synod in Rome next year.
This synod process is officially called For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.