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Vatican extends deadline for Synod’s youth survey

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s online survey aims to reach a maximum number of young people in preparation for the Synod of Bishop’s assembly next year on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment by extending its deadline, La Croix International posted on 21 Nov 2017.

The Vatican is giving 16- to 29-year-olds one more month to fill out its online survey in preparation for the Synod of Bishop’s next gathering on “Young people, faith and vocational discernment.”  The bishops will hold their meeting from 3-28 October 2018 in Rome.

The online survey which began in June was originally set to close on November 30. But Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Synod secretary general, announced on Tuesday, Nov 21,  that the questionnaire will continue to be accessible until December 31.

The responses, which will be analysed and synthesised, will provide a basis for the drafting of the Instrumentum Laboris or “working document,” the roadmap that which the Synod Fathers will work from.

This online survey is unprecedented both in its form and as a method of preparing for a Synod gathering.

It is also the first time that the Vatican has organised its own direct consultation with the faithful in parallel with the discourses normally carried out in the dioceses.

The latter is used to prepare national summaries which also serve in the drafting of the Instrumentum Laboris.

The French Bishops Conference submitted their synthesis to Rome in October. It was made public at the beginning of November during the autumn assembly of the bishops at Lourdes.

The survey was clearly an unprecedented initiative. The question is whether it was a success. At the end of October, Cardinal Baldisseri said the questionnaire had received 65,000 responses.

This is, in fact, a low response rate considering that the Vatican aimed to address young people from the whole world regardless of their religion.

It now appears that many countries failed to adequately promote the survey. A series of criticisms have also emerged regarding its length, poor translation and confusing questions.

While the final number of responses remains to be seen, it can be expected that the number will rise as the new deadline approaches and social media efforts to canvas responses multiply.

Other countries are also endeavouring to mobilise young people during these final days as illustrated by a message from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference:

“Have you given your opinion? The Vatican is preparing the 2018 Synod on young people. Take a few minutes to share your ideas.” – la croix international

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