This synopsis reports only acclamations, or slight reservations about, the idealisations of the Bishops' document and as such, is a total travesty of the attitudes of the laity. One would think that every parish held an annual celebration of the publication of Humanae Vitae. There is no indication of any lay concern about the Church's attitude to divorcees. The document presents an idealised picture of marriage that is admirable and highly desirable, but gives the impression that it is there for the taking. Many of the lay affirmations will seem smug and self-satisfied to those who have not found a partner, or for whom things have gone sadly wrong. To speak of a vocation creates an idea that marriage is something worth pursuing almost indiscriminately and that simply being married will make everything work irrespective of the choice of partner; this surely is a recipe for many to fail. As one with the good fortune of a long and happy marriage, I cannot see anything in the list of promotional activities that would have had the slightest bearing on the success of our marriage.
If this is the tone of the Bishops' briefing to the Synod, it will suggest that the English laity are so in accord with traditional teaching, that there is no purpose in the Synod at all; certainly some traditionalists already take that view and have obviously influenced the official view. If the Synod produces nothing more than a PR gloss on the status quo, then it will succeed in driving out the last of the troublesome laity who stayed loyal through the contentious teachings referred to above, leaving the Church as a sweet little sect, piously free from sinners.