In Catholic World Report there is some analysis of Amoris laetitia.
The writer first contrasts himself with others who think that the Exhortation is not magisterial in nature.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t find problems. For example:
2. Doctrine and fidelity to Christ
Suggestions in AL that doctrine is a question of adherence to arid rules, lacking in motivation, devoid of mercy, and that pastors wish to cast stones at people in real difficulties are generic; [Right. I keep asking myself, “Who are these people? Where are these people whom Pope Francis keeps beating up in his talks and docs?”] they are unjust to those genuinely concerned to remain faithful to Christ on the indissolubility of marriage. Benedict XVI, humble and compassionate, saw no way of changing discipline here without compromising fidelity to Jesus. From Pius XI to Benedict, doctrine on marriage was also positively and pastorally motivated; these Popes were not guilty of heartless, Pharisaic legalism.
3. The formation of conscience
Magisterial texts in AL are distorted when quoted selectively or ignored almost completely. Repeatedly presenting conscience as the sanctuary where man finds himself alone with God (Gaudium et spes, 16) suggests it is only a private matter between the individual and God, while references to invincible ignorance and to other factors reducing responsibility risk implying that people rarely sin or are rarely culpable. Grave misinterpretations of conciliar doctrine on conscience, corrected in Veritatis splendor, are basically ignored in AL. Conciliar and papal teaching that no one can act in good conscience who disregards magisterial teaching or who treats it as mere opinion (Dignitatis humanae, 14; John Paul II, Allocution, Nov., 1988) is not mentioned.
4. Casuistry or discernment?
Ignatian discernment is no substitute for proper formation of conscience. [!] AL rejects legalism and casuistry. St. Thomas’ statement that, applied concretely, moral law binds in the majority, but not in a minority, of cases is mis-represented. [We knew that, as time went on, scholars would start writing about how the document’s writers (mis)used Aquinas.]
AL, though, could well give the impression of something even worse, of privatising conscience, of encouraging or permitting persons to refer to priests ignorant of or dissenting from magisterial teaching. The risk of situation ethics, of laxism, of moral relativism and of widespread contradictory pastoral practice, despite the Pope not wishing anything like this, seems to be considerable.
These are a few snips. Read the whole thing over there yourselves.
Whatever AL says now can be corrected in the final, official version in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Would that be difficult to communicate? Sure! But everyone is listening to the Pope these days. Were he to talk about the dialogue and insights gained from reactions around the world and then issue a new version, an official version with LATIN and translations, much of the damage could be undone while bringing the entire world’s focus to what the Church really says about matrimony and those who are struggling in their relationships or who need to get their acts together.