The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World - Synod 2015



A Message from the Bishops

Pope Francis, the Synod, Families, Relationships and You

Pope Francis’ voice resounds in the media and in our homes. His extraordinary impact invites us all to consider: what is the impact of our “voice”, our witness, in the environment in which we live and work?

We can make that kind of reflection as individuals or collectively as a faith community. A synod in fact brings both those streams together. Invited individuals head to Rome not as soloists but as men and women who seek to echo the wisdom and insight that emerges from a collective period of prayer, listening, consultation, and deep reflection.

The current ‘Synod on Families’ has entered a new phase. Pope Francis wants us to focus on practical pastoral approaches which uphold and strengthen the beauty of married life and also accompany and guide those whose relationships are not unfolding within the bond of marriage. To this end a further questionnaire has been sent to all Catholic communities across the globe.

We Bishops invite you to add your voice to the questionnaire. We are acutely aware of the many people who in their hearts consider themselves Catholic but are not regularly at Church. Please encourage these family members and friends to participate. Also of particular interest to us are those who see themselves as beyond the Church: perhaps some divorced and remarried, or gay women and men. We urge you to share your experiences through the questionnaire. No-one walks beyond the reach of the Good Shepherd.

Some of the questions may resonate more with some people than with others. That’s fine. Indeed not every question need be answered. Whatever you choose to share, your voice as well as those of groups such as our priests, RE teachers, and marriage preparation teams etc will be heard. In this way we will deepen our knowledge of who we are as the People of God in Aotearoa and our submission will be a truly collective response to the Holy Spirit’s on-going work within each of us and the Church in this land.

Cardinal John Dew, Bishop Colin Campbell, Bishop Patrick Dunn, Bishop Peter Cullinane, Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop Barry Jones, Bishop Stephen Lowe.


A full copy of the Lineamenta document is available from the Vatican website here.

We suggest you draft your answers using the Word Document provided here and then copy them across when you’re ready using the online questionnaire which begins here

To respond using the Word Document click here for the electronic copy which you can complete and return by email to Simone Olsen, Communications Adviser,

If you would like a printed copy of the questionnaire to be sent to you for you to fill in and return by post please ring Simone Olsen, Communications Adviser, 04 496 1725 or email her it can be returned to NZCBC, PO BOX 1937, Wellington 6140

The deadline for responses to be received is Monday 9 March 2015.

For any queries regarding this consultation process please contact Simone Olsen, Communications Adviser on the email or phone number listed above.