What is surprising is the boldness of too many Bishops to use the occasion of these Vatican questionnaires to cast further doubt and dissension and to foment for change on Church doctrine. Wouldn't you expect a Bishop, above all, to know that the laws of Christ are immutable and unchangeable? Pity their souls.
The Vatican took the unusual step of commissioning the surveys ahead of a major meeting of bishops that Pope Francis has called for October to discuss family issues. The poll was sent last year to every national conference of bishops with a request to share it widely among Catholic institutions, parishes and individuals.
The German bishops' survey made clear: "The church's statements on premarital sexual relations, on homosexuality, on those divorced and remarried and on birth control ... are virtually never accepted, or are expressly rejected in the vast majority of cases."
The Swiss bishops went further, saying the church's very mission was being threatened by its insistence on such directives. It's an issue Francis himself has weighed in on, decrying the church's "obsession" with small-minded rules.