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Pope surveys Catholics on ‘modern’ issues

Pope Francis has urged members of the Catholic Church to fill out surveys on the Vatican’s teaching of “modern” topics, including same-sex sexual relationships, in order to gauge whether what the church preaches is still practical in today’s society.

The survey, launched earlier this month, asks questions on issues such as abortion, contraception, communion for the divorced and same-sex sexual relationships.

The Independent reports that the feedback will be used to gauge the divisions between church teachings and the beliefs and behaviors of its followers.

One of the questions asks respondents how they feel on gay and lesbian Catholics having “intimate sexual relationships.”

There are 46 questions. Responses gathered will be used to help form new Vatican guidance for churchgoers, to be published in 2015.

The Archbishop of Westminster said Catholics should be prepared to “listen” to arguments on same-sex marriage.

Recently, President Barack Obama said he was “hugely impressed” by Pope Francis’ recent remarks admitting the Roman Catholic Church was “obsessed” with abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception.

Speaking to reporters in July during a plane journey back to the Vatican following his trip to Brazil, Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society.

The comments suggested the beginnings of a new era in civility by the Vatican on the issue of same-sex relationships — if not in doctrinal position. Pope Francis also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal Catechism, which states that while being gay is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

— Compiled by Larry Nichols

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