Some mental notes as I'm making as I begin to read Amoris Laetitia carefully:
1. Official Catholic documents — like papal encyclicals and papal exhortations — are written by men and for men.
2. Some women find themselves reflected in the mirror of these documents primarily because they have chosen to identify with the male power structures that organize a great deal in the world around them — and so gain power by collaborating with these power structures.
3. We are supposed to imagine that the men writing these official Catholic documents are heterosexual even when they are clearly not — and many of us collude in that imagining because we want to sacralize the world of heterosexual normality and male dominance.
4. Sacralizing the world of heterosexual normality and male dominance (and, by contrast, emphasizing the abnormality of homosexuality and of women's aspirations to behave like men, as church leaders choose to see women's aspirations to autonomy) happens to be at the core of the agenda of the all-male leaders of the Catholic church as they address issues of gender, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, family, etc.
5. There's a way to read the papacy of Francis as primarily about attempting to bolster these assumptions regarding heterosexual normality and male dominance at a point in history when many women and, increasingly, queer people raise searching questions about the claim that the divine plan privileges heterosexual males — because (we're expected to imagine) this is who God is, essentially: a heterosexual male.
6. There's a way to read the papacy of Francis as all about bolstering the assumption that some fundamental things about Catholic teaching and practice cannot change, are set in stone — and, above all, its approach to issues of gender, sexual orientation, and heterosexual male power and privilege.
7. It would be fundamentally far more honest if the leaders of the Catholic church simply announced that they do not intend to allow discussions about change that in any way threatens the foundations of heterosexual male power and privilege.