Second, the membership of the synod makes dealing with the topic of the family difficult.
Can so many people from such varied backgrounds have any common understanding of the problems facing families and how to deal with them?
The third problem facing the synod is the synodal process itself.
Synods are paper factories. They produce lots of speeches, recommendations and sometimes even a final document, but do they make a difference? In 1980, I covered an earlier synod on the family that faced almost every issue that this synod faces. Did it make any difference? If it did, I don't see it.
The fourth reason the synod is doomed to failure is that it is seriously divided on the question of what can and cannot change.
This clash is most obvious over the question of readmitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion.
One side sees only the law -- the marriage contract is permanent and can be terminated only by death. The other side sees millions of people suffering from broken marriages that cannot be put back together.
The fifth reason the synod is doomed is the absence of theologians at the synod.
One conservative curial cardinal complained of the "schoolboy theology" being presented in episcopal speeches. There is some truth in that complaint. There is little evidence in their talks that bishops consulted theologians in order to understand contemporary thinking in Scripture, ethics or doctrine.