The issue with bringing these “hot-button” topics up is to imply that they are subject to change. For this entire century and a good portion of the last, the world has been making demands for the Church to get with the times, make things easier, and conform itself more to mainstream thought. The Communion for the divorced and the remarried is the perfect example of this, asking the Church to soften it’s discipline based on the incredible surge of divorces in modern society.
The Church has been playing defense, and laity who have suffered to conform themselves to the Church’s(and Jesus’) tough standards feel like their own leadership does not take them seriously. The Synod should be offensive, attacking common misperceptions of Modernist thought and ask the world what the increase of secularism feel-goodism has brought.
Serious Catholics want an aggressive, confident clergy willing to call evil what it is.
Serious Catholics want a clergy that doesn’t care if they are liked by the world.
Serious Catholics want a true shepherd, which means tough love when necessary.
Serious Catholics want preaching of salvation as a tough narrow road, not a highway.
Serious Catholics want a document tough and authoritative enough to make the Bishops at the Council of Trent proud.
Serious Catholics, all in all, are sick of weak leadership.