As the synod continues, and production of its final text looms, there is a feeling among many synod fathers that the issue of LGBT language is being driven by only a small minority of participants, and by a much larger force outside the synod hall.
Responding directly to a comment by Fr. Martin that the adoption of LGBT terminology was a key consideration for the synod, Cardinal Napier said that he didn't know what synod Martin was talking about, as he could not recall the issue being mentioned more than two or three times, "one a forceful repudiation of the use of the term in Church documents."
Nevertheless, some bishops say the language will end up in the document, even though it does not appear to have a clear base of support, either among the synod father or young Catholics.
One young synod observer told CNA that actual "dialogue" on the issue seemed one-sided, comparing the small group pushing for the inclusion of LGBT language to a "drum circle in a public park."
"It's a big noise from a small number of people, they talk a lot about inviting you in, there's a lot of incessant repetition, and they don't seem interested in hearing anything but the sounds they're making."
Nevertheless, during a press conference Oct. 23, Cardinal Luis Tagle said of LGBT language that his "hunch is that it will be there."
"It is not a synod which pretends to provide all solutions and all answers, clear solutions and clear answers" Tagle added. "Life is not clear, and the life of young people now is really not clear."
Still, other bishops have seemed to suggest that a more traditional anthropology will be reflected in the document.
Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne, a member of the drafting committee for the final document, said last week that presenting Church teaching on sexuality is about recognizing that everyone is a sinner, and everyone needs to be found by God and receive his love.
"We are also the sinners who are called to be at the foot of the cross in our lives. So, in the sense of welcoming, of receiving, and of entering into the friendship of Christ, we also take our lives, me included, to the foot of the cross. And that's every single person," he said.
A discussion group led by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, noted that a "proclamation of chastity, as achievable and good for our young people" was conspicuously absent from the instrumentum laboris, suggesting that ought to be a focus of any discussion on sexuality.
Another group, led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, highlighted the "ideological colonization" by Western countries who tie economic and medical aid "an acquiescence to Western moral values in regard to sexuality and marriage," something echoed recently by Cardinal Souraphiel of Ethiopia.
Some bishops seem to regard the whole matter as unhelpful distraction. As Chaput's intervention noted, what is needed is "the confidence to preach Jesus Christ without hesitation or excuses to every generation, especially to the young."
As the synod session nears its end, it remains to be seen whether the push for LGBT language will emerge in the final document. But despite media attention, it seems clear that a majority of synod bishops – perhaps even a "moral unanimity" – are looking for less talk of LGBT, and more talk of INRI.