Vatican surveys Church on family issues including gay marriage

Pope Francis greet cardinals and bishops during the general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the VaticanBy Steve Scherer VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican is asking bishops and parish priests around the world about local views on gay marriage, divorce and birth control ahead of a meeting of bishops next year to discuss Roman Catholic Church teachings related to the family. It also shows Pope Francis is reaching out to local parishes and not relying solely on the Church hierarchy on how to implement Catholic teachings. The questionnaire was sent to bishops on October 18, according to a letter from Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the general secretary of the synod meeting, to Catholic bishops around the world. The missive and survey questions were posted on the National Catholic Reporter's Web site on Thursday, and confirmed by the Holy See on Friday.

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