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Rome Reports

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Survey on the Family gets record response

The Synod on the Family is still about six months away, but organizers are already hard at work. In November, the Vatican issued a 38-question survey to all bishops' conferences around the world-all 114 of them. At this point, organizers say, 84 percent have sent in their results. CARD. LORENZO BALDISSERI Secretary-General, Synod of Bishops "This is a record number. It's truly exceptional. In the past, or in other circumstances, it's never happened before. One week after January 31, we had already received 70 percent. For us, that was enough to start working, and to give us a base to put things together.â? The purpose of the survey is to gather information on the modern day challenges families face and how the Church can address them. Everything from the knowledge Catholics have on Church doctrine to their country's laws and personal opinions on same sex unions.  The Cardinal says the goal is for Catholics to express their views, arguments and plausible solutions. The actual Synod will look into much more information than just the survey.  CARD. LORENZO BALDISSERI Secretary-General, Synod of Bishops "There's still a lot of work to be done, because they have to integrate the survey into the program, but they're also looking at different studies carried out by universities and other groups. So the final version of the document should be presented to members of the Synod in the month of May.â?  The Synod will be divided in two parts. The first one will take place from October 5th to the 19th at the Vatican and the second one in 2015. After that, the Pope will present a list of recommendations so that the Church can better address issues pertaining to the family.  JRB/RC/KLH  MG/RR -VM -PR Up:RCA