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Title: Wachsende Entfremdung?
Subtitle: Zur Perzeption des Familienlebens und der kirchlichen Lehre bei pastoralen MitarbeiterInnen und Ehrenamtlichen in der Katholischen Kirche in Flandern
Author(s): DILLEN, Annemie , KNIEPS-PORT LE ROI, Thomas , KRYSINSKA, Karolina
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 20    Issue: 1   Date: 2014   
Pages: 124-137
DOI: 10.2143/INT.20.1.3036705

Abstract :
Shortly after Pope Francis’ announcement of the upcoming Bishops’ Synod on ‘Pastoral Challenges for the Family in the Context of Evangelization’ which is to take place in October 2014, the Vatican has sent a questionnaire to the local churches asking them to explore how ministers and faithful think about and receive the Church teaching on marriage and family issues and to report the results back Rome. Further to this open questionnaire to which 1589 individual persons and groups in Belgium responded between November and December 2013, researchers from the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the Catholic University of Leuven have carried out an online survey between December 2013 and January 2014 in which they asked people who are both professionally and voluntarily involved in pastoral services and faith communication in the Flemish Church about the relationship between their faith and their own family experiences and their ideas about the teaching of the Catholic Church on themes as contraception, divorce, remarriage, cohabitation and homosexual relationships. The article describes the target population, data collection, type and aims of questions of the survey in which 1853 respondents participated and summarizes some of its main results. Thus, a clear trend becomes apparent from questions inquiring into whether the respondents agree with Church teaching and whether they desire changes to be made in these matters. The vast majority indicate that they are in disagreement with the Church’s position regarding all the topics covered, and desire clear or even far-reaching changes. This trend is highest with respect to contraception, followed by divorce and remarriage and homosexuality. The survey also demonstrates that the Flemish respondents in their own self-perception and perception of third parties generally estimate knowledge of the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family to be relatively high. The presupposition that this teaching is insufficiently known and therefore misrepresented or unduly rejected is not supported by this survey.

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