For The Tablet, Catholic theologian Mary Hunt sums up what a missed opportunity Amoris Laetitia is (though those dancing to the tune of the church talkers will not see or admit this, I suspect):
Amoris Laetitia is a study in ambiguity that gives new evidence for the use of the term "jesuitical". Published under the name of the current Jesuit pope, the document is really several somewhat disjointed pieces — a biblical study, some reflections on families that border on New Age, restatement of institutional Church teachings on the topic, and some toying with change that does not amount to much of anything new.
Effective contraception is still banned; same-sex marriage is still seen as completely different from heterosexual marriage. Those who are divorced and remarried are told in pastoral practice to do what they think is best in conversation with their local priest.
Alas, the hetero monogamous ideal remains in place while lip service is paid to the remote possibility of other options. Clearly the input of lay people at the two Synods amounted to little or nothing. All in all, this is a missed opportunity for Pope Francis to demonstrate that there is anything new under the Vatican sun.
The ultimate intent of Pope Francis in this document is to impose on all of us in the name of Catholic orthodoxy a heterosexist and male-entitled vision of the possibilities of human existence — making other possibilities unimaginable and unthinkable for those who want to claim Catholic identity in a pristine form. The intent of this document is to draw a smiley face on that very particular and very unjust (to anyone who is made the object of the heterosexual male entitlement, power, and privilege) way of envisaging the possibilities of human existence.
Jesus was all about opening the door to possibility — for everyone — in the name of good news — for everyone.
The photo of Mary Hunt is from the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) website.