The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 8, 2013

Pope Francis has a few questions

NORMAN — Imagine the pope is coming to dinner.

He’ll be taking the bus, and he doesn’t want you to make a big fuss. It’s Francis, after all, the “world’s parish priest.”

There’s a bit of an agenda to his visit. He wants to ask how you feel about some of the most confounding teachings of the faith. He wonders how what you hear in the pews squares with what occurs in your life, and in the lives of your loved ones. What do you think about birth control? About same sex couples raising children? About people living together before marriage, or about divorce and remarriage?

No, really. This isn’t just some parlor game. Something like this is happening.

Pope Francis is indicating yet again that he wants to sit among and listen to his flock, in ways that are unprecedented for the papacy. He’s soliciting opinions on the very moral teachings that are driving Catholics from the church. One in 10 adults in the United States is an ex-Catholic. The figures in Europe and Latin America may vary but add up to a similar story: People are voting on Catholicism with their feet.

At Francis’ urging, the Vatican has produced a questionnaire asking about Catholic teaching. In October it was sent to the world’s bishop conferences. It’s to gather input in preparation for an October 2014 Synod of Bishops in Rome.

The National Catholic Reporter, an influential Catholic newsweekly, broke this story after a copy of the papal survey was sent to them last month.

“I think this is the biggest story of the year,” said Editor Dennis Coday. “It’s a monumental change.”

The letter from the Vatican instructed the bishops to distribute the document to the dioceses “and ask them to share it immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received regarding the themes and responses to the questionnaire.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014