Nov 5, 2013 11:29 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Vatican survey will poll Tucson parishioners

TUCSON - The Vatican is taking an unusual step, conducting a broader worldwide survey on how parishes deal with sensitive topics, including divorce, birth control, and same sex marriage.

The Diocese of Tucson is taking part in the poll.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas says what makes this survey unique is that local parishioners, not just higher-ups will participate. In total 300 to 350 people with ties to the Tucson Diocese.

"I think that everyone has learned that Pope Francis is someone who like to consult, and likes to get people's thoughts and ideas," says Bishop Kicanas, "So it's not surprising, he's asking for broad dissemination."

The nine question survey asks for essay style responses. Feedback worldwide will be compiled ahead of a major meeting in Rome in 2015.

Meantime a recent National poll by the New York Times shows Catholics in the United States feel their church, and bishops are out of touch. And the next Pope should lead the church in a more ‘modern direction'. Many Tucsonans agree.

"I think the Catholic Church needs to be more modern in these times, definitely," says a UA student and German native named Claudia.

Parishioner Iliana Gomez is interested in a couple topics, she says, "I think contraception and same sex marriage. Because there's a lot of gay people, and a lot of people who don't use contraceptives because the church doesn't allow you to."

Bishop Kicanas considers the survey an important step. "Looking to collaboration, looking to understanding what the thoughts are and opinions are on the local level."

Local surveys are due by the end of December. Bishop Kicanas says he has received requests from parishioners, volunteering to participate.


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