“The Archdiocese of Boston has hired a top Democratic consultant to poll Catholics in Eastern Massachusetts — most of whom no longer attend weekly Mass — to find out what they think about the church and its leaders.
John Marttila, who served as a strategist for Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, and Deval Patrick, has overseen a phone survey this month on behalf of the church, asking active and inactive Catholics a wide-ranging series of 90 questions.”
They’re asking questions about whether people support abortion or want to see women in leadership positions in the Church, in addition to how often they go to Mass and why they might not go, among others. Inevitably some will say that this is the archdiocese watering down the Church’s teachings or catering to dissent, but that’s a shortsighted approach.
Before you make plans for evangelization, you need to find out where people stand. There are a lot of assumptions out there about what people believe, but what do people actually understand about Church teaching? Why do they dissent? What is their understanding of those teachings? What do they need to know?
When a pastor knows where his people are then he knows how to approach them. He can change what is available for change without attempting to change what is immutable.