Does the document live up to the build up? Well, I have to admit I have only scan read it so far but have taken into account various opinions. Those on the left, without surprise, claim this is the beginning of big change, what a let down for them as they had claimed this Exhortation would deliver lock, stock and barrel the change they sought and it hasn't.
Amoris Laetitia goes so far but not quite as far as the liberals wanted. It promotes pastoral support but not a pastoral pathway back to communion for the divorced and remarried as lamented by the Kasperites.
The document suggests that sacramental absolution and holy Communion is available to those living in objectively sinful situations who are not mortally culpable for their actions. The door is ajar but not wide open.
A long document, which will be pulled apart at length in the coming days, commentators will interpret Amoris Laetitia according to preference and what they wish to promote.
"Amoris Laetitia opens the way to Holy Communion for divorced and remarrieds" says The Tablet [can I claim a prize when I spot the text where this is made implicitly clear?] ..... but hang on, those who have 'that' sort of leaning will manipulate the document in such a way as to bring their own practices into the glory of Kasperite aspiration.
Will it be a talking point to average Catholic folk this Sunday at Mass? I doubt it. Will it change things at Mass? No, for those who approach the great sacrament will either do so with a clear conscious or they will continue flout Canons 915 and 916 as they have done to date through ignorance or otherwise - nothing in Amoris Laetitia denies either Canon please note!
For me, another sting in the tail of this tale is the 'cultural opt out' or ability for bishops conferences to overlay church teaching with cultural practice according to a particular region.
The Holy Father has previously alluded to less control and direction from the Eternal City and more autonomy for bishops conferences, I have written on this subject before during this papacy. The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Roman Church and our Catholicity comes from the unity of that Church. We should pray hard that our universality does not descend into a fragmented 'anything goes' approach.
Finally, a prayer .......
SPÍRITUS SANCTE, Spíritus veritátis, veni in corda nostra; da pópulis claritátem lucis tuæ, ut in fídei unitáte tibi compláceant
O HOLY SPIRIT, Spirit of Truth, come into our hearts; shed the brightness of Thy light upon the nations, that they may please Thee in unity of faith. (Raccolta 277)