As with the documents produced by the 2014 Synod, it should be noted that the import of these paragraphs from the 2015 Synod may not be immediately apparent to the undiscerning reader unfamiliar with ecclesial documents. For example, if Rorate had not pointed out that paragraph #85 of the current Final Relatio, in its quotation of John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio #84, had omitted the part where communion for the "divorced-and-remarried" is forbidden, how many would have caught it? I'm not sure I would have.
Even more significant is the fact that the Final Relatio opens the path to watering down doctrine by speaking of the "orientations of the bishop" with regard to the "divorced and remarried."
One reliable foil for interpreting a highly ambiguous document such as this is to track down the most "cantankerous" of traditionalists and examine what they're saying about it. Why? Because, unlike the broad mainstream of conservative Catholic commentators, these are folks that have been extremely sensitized to any whiff of distortion of traditional Church teaching.
Examine, for example, what Christopher Ferrara says [at about 11:55 of the second video below] about paragraph #85 of the Final Relation and the way it twists the meaning of John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio. Maybe John Vennari and Ferrara look like their heads are going to explode, but you just might learn something.
- John Vennari and Christopher Ferrara, "Synod 8 - Final Document: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly" [VIDEO]
- John Vennari and Christopher Ferrara, "Synod 9 - The Synodal Wasteland" [video]
- Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, "What Did The Synod Really Say? Some analysis of the Final Report" (Fr. Z's Blog, October 25, 2015)