Synods have been used in the Catholic Church for centuries as a means of meeting to discuss the management of the Church. Over the last seven years Pope Francis has used the synod as a means of examining how the Catholic Church develops particular policies. He has called for a Synod on the Family, as well as a Synod on Young People. These have allowed bishops, clergy, and laity to consider an issue in some depth. There often follows a major statement from the Pope setting out a review or development of a Church teaching
In 2022 Pope Francis has called for a Synod to examine the ways in which this process of Synodality can help the Church. Its purpose is to examine how the Catholic Church will govern itself in the future. It will not be looking at doctrine but rather the ways in which it responds to national and international need. What will be the role of the laity? How much can the Church vary how it operates in different parts of the world?
In preparation for the Synod on Synodality a group of theologians in Germany and Austria have developed a survey to identify the key issues that clergy, religious and laity have regarding this matter. The group of theologians consist of:
Tomas Halik- A Czech theologian. President of the Czech Christian Academy
Anna Hennersperger- Head of the Episcopal Pastoral Office of the Catholic Church of Carinthia
Peter Neuner- Former Chairman of the German Catholic Theological Faculty Conference
Paul M Zulehner- Former Professor of Pastoral Theology, University of Vienna.
The survey is a mixture of closed and open questions. It is completely confidential and can be completed and returned electronically to Paul Zulehner.
The survey is available in English: