Back to Resources

Synod of Bishops on the Family 2014

Family life is the focus of an extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops that will meet at the Vatican between 5-19 October 2014.

Around 150 Synod fathers will take part in the meeting to discuss the "pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization." It is expected to last two weeks.

This is only the third 'extraordinary' synod since Pope Paul VI reinstituted synods in 1965. According to the Code of Canon Law, an “extraordinary general session” of the synod is held to “deal with matters which require a speedy solution.”

The second stage focusing on this important subject will be the 2015 Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.



A major part of our preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in 2014 is to encourage you to complete a Vatican questionnaire.

You can actively participate by clicking on the link below:

But first, please take some time to prepare...

We would really value your responses to this questionnaire on family life but there are a few points to note before taking part.

To complete the survey in full could take 30 minutes or more so we'd strongly recommend you download and use the pro-forma word document, located below, to prepare your responses before.

Synod Response Pro Forma 119.5 KB (Word doc)

  • The survey has 45 questions/opportunities to give your feedback.
  • A few of the early questions are short answer, tick box or selections from a drop-down, however most allow for a full text response.
  • Please fill in the initial information fields as fully as possible - particularly 'diocese/ordinariate' field if applicable.
  • Although we'd encourage a full response, it's not necessary to answer every question, please skip questions you feel unable to answer.
  • You can also simply send a completed pro-forma directly to

The current deadline for submissions is 30 January 2014.


Preparatory Document

The Lineamenta - or preparatory document - for the 2014 extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops on the family gives more information on the Vatican meeting that will examine the "Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context Of Evangelization".

You can download the document as a PDF here

Here's a summary of the contents of the Lineamenta.

I. Synod: Family and Evangelization

II. The Church and the Gospel on the Family

  • The Plan of God, Creator and Redeemer
  • The Church's Teaching on the Family

III. Questions

  • The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium
  • Marriage according to the Natural Law
  • The Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization
  • Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations
  • On Unions of Persons of the Same Sex
  • The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages
  • The Openness of the Married Couple to Life
  • The Relationship Between the Family and the Person
  • Other Challenges and Proposals

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-soundcloud icon-youtube