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Pope Francis

Pope Francis

There are more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide, and Pope Francis wants to know what they think — all of them. The Holy Father is having surveys sent to parishes all over the world, asking for churchgoers thoughts on previously avoided family topics. It’s a clear break with tradition, given that the Catholic Church isn’t usually known for being a grassroots organization. Francis wants to know what his flock thinks about same-sex marriage, divorce, single parents and other family issues that common in 21st-century life.

 
It’s not clear what, if any, changes might come from the surveys, but sometimes it’s enough to just ask the questions and take it from there, particularly on touchy topics. Boston College theology professor Thomas Groome told NBC News, “All of these things have been closed issues and you could be fired for even talking about them. Raising these questions and polling people — it at least signals something other than a closed mind.” 

 

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