Pastoral Challenges to the Family - Synod of Bishops


DIOCESAN REFLECTION PROCESS in preparation for the 2015 Synod of Bishops.

Archbishop Dermot Martin has written to all the parishes in the Diocese regarding the Synod of Bishops which will take place in October. In the course of his letter the Archbishop says,

“I write about the desire of Pope Francis that God’s people around the world should have an opportunity to make their contribution to the process of ecclesial reflection in preparation for the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which will take place in October next on the theme:  “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”.

“Worldwide, there was great appreciation of the fact that Pope Francis wanted to hear the sentiments of God’s people around the world on the theme of the Synod.”  

“I believe that we owe it to Pope Francis to use the opportunity – and indeed a new model of Church practice – he offers.”

The Archbishop wishes that the people of the diocese be widely consulted in advance of the Synod.  He has provided three documents, an Information Sheet, a copy of the final report of the first part of the Synod which was held last October – this document is called the Relatio Synodi – and finally a questionnaire. These documents are available for downloading below.

Parishioners are encouraged to engage with this process by reading these documents and submitting their answers and opinions through the Parish Pastoral Council where they will be gathered and forwarded to the Diocesan Office for Evangelization. Not all questions need be answered; parishioners are free to choose to answer whichever questions they wish.

Archbishop Martin concluded his letter by asking for prayers for married couples and families:

“Where possible, this process should be accompanied by the prayer of the Christian community to support married couples and families in their mission in the Church and especially those who may be experiencing difficulties”.

As requested by the Archbishop we will keep these intentions and the work of the Synod in our Prayer of the Faithful at Sunday Mass and on other occasions of community prayer.

Click the links below to read/download the documents

Letter re Process in Prep for the Synod

Relatio Sinodi

Relatio 'paraphrased' 

Questions relating to the Document

Read Rathmines Parish Response to the Synod Questions




Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelisation is  extraordinary document which has sent by the Vatican to all National Bishops Conferences across the world.

Pope Francis is asking parishes, people, dioceses, countries to reflect on the questions and make submissions in advance of the Synod of Bishops next year. Some of the questions might be difficult, and need a theological background but it is worth exploring, even as individuals, families or among small groups, and making a submission. This is the first time that the Vatican is asking Catholics around the world what we think, so it's important that that we make some kind of response.

There are 2 versions of the questions - 'Lineamenta' which is the original; and 'Pastoral Challenges' - an attempt to make the questions more friendly - for you to read over and have as a reference. Click on the links at the bottom of the page to view them.


Background to the Document and details can be found on the Dublin Diocese’s Website - and any discussion feedback or proposals can be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

As time is moving on - You can also answer the online survey prepared by the Association of Catholic Priests that simplifies the questions, either as individuals, family, friends, parish groups, whatever suits. There is a deadline of January 15th, so please spread the word, and invite others to respond also.  They will do their best to collate the results and make sure that they get to the relevant people in the Vatican, and also to our own bishops. You can take the survey now that will take about 30 minutes prepared by the Association of Catholic Priests by clicking the following link –

In Rathmines we hope to have an open discussion on this after the 15th so please watch the newsletter.

It good to have a chance to have our say!


Links to documents:




'Pastoral Challenges'