If Germany is any measure, it seems to me that synods which ask laity and clergy for their opinion on this, that and the other will raise false expectations or lead to these expectations being fulfilled and thus alienating another group within the Church which is more organized, more engaged and more hard-nosed.
What will the answer be for questions on women's roles in the Church and inclusivity?
I think Germany gives us the answers, women priests and gender ideology to include recognition of same sex unions all of which have ramifications for the Church's traditional teaching on priesthood, marriage and sexuality which includes prohibitions against fornication, sodomy and adultery.
If the pope goes with the those who want all of these things, there will be a schism.
If he raises hopes only to have them dashed, there won't be a formal schism by progressives, since they are so unorganized and like reeds swaying in the wind, they will simply leave the Church and become something else or nothing at all.
Think about the progressives who were given hope by Paul VI in the 1960's to study in a synodal way the possibility of artificial contraception. That commission recommended some forms of artificial contraception only to have their findings and conclusions trashed by Humanae Vitae in 1968. Why did Pope Paul VI create a commission which would reject Catholic teaching and then tell them thanks but no thanks?
We are in dangerous territory. Who knows what will happen.
In a perceptive analysis of the preparatory document, Ed Condon of Pillar remarks:
Some critics will raise the prospect that the synodal process is set up to produce documents which undermine established teaching and authority in the Church, largely by calling for broad participation in the process, without sufficient guidelines on how to facilitate fruitful engagement within the bounds of Catholic orthodoxy.