VATICAN CITY, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The Vatican has directed bishops to poll parishioners on issues including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce, ahead of a council on family issues.
Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican's Synod of Bishops, distributed a questionnaire last month to its conferences around the world seeking "input from local sources" on various controversial topics, the U.S. newspaper National Catholic Reporter said Thursday.
Baldisseri asked the conferences to distribute the poll "immediately as widely as possible" with the objective of collecting "input from local sources."
The newspaper said the poll is being conducted in preparation for the Vatican synod on "Pastoral Challenges of the family in the context of evangelization," scheduled for Oct. 5-19, 2014.
Pope Francis announced the synod this month.
The survey will ask Catholics about their opinions on issues that have split U.S. Catholics, including remarriage for divorced Catholics and cohabitation outside of marriage.
The Reporter said Baldisseri's letter to bishops does not include a request for U.S. bishops to consult widely with parishioners and an accompanying letter from Monsignor Ronny Jenkins, general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference, simply asks bishops to offer their own observations.
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