Three months ago, Pope Francis released a church teaching about the family, a document that both empathized heavily with the challenges of modern life and left major questions unanswered, including whether he’d opened the door to a changed place for divorced and remarried Catholics.

Such people are barred from Communion – the highest sacrament of the church – and Francis uncorked decades of debate about whether this huge pool of people were about to be let back in.

Tiny clues are starting to come in the United States, where at least two bishops – including one with a key leadership role on the topic – issued quite different reactions.

Last week, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia quietly issued guidelines “for implementing Amoris Laetitia,” which did not make any changes to existing practice in the prominent, historic archdiocese. The guidelines remind that people who live outside of the church’s explicit teachings – primarily people who divorce and remarry outside the church, but Chaput also included people who live together unmarried and same-sex couples – are eligible for Communion only if they don’t have sex.

Chaput’s guidelines emphasized the parts of Francis’ document that essentially told clergy not to give up on people whose lives don’t adhere strictly to Catholic teaching, and he calls for a “sensitive accompaniment of those with an imperfect grasp of Christian teaching . . . and yet desire to be more fully integrated into Church life.”

However, that integration has major limits. Even if people are chaste, Chaput’s guidelines say, pastors must “judge prudently how best to address the situation” for the good of the people and the congregation.

In June, Chaput was named by the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to run a working group aimed at implementing Amoris Laetitia. The group of five is an informal body that will make recommendations to the U.S. church. Each bishop controls the practice in their region, but the group’s guidelines are hugely influential.

In May, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy took a quite different approach, calling for a special meeting in his diocese in the fall to discuss the papal document. Every parish will have a representative there, he said.

In the diocese’s May paper, McElroy wrote that Francis’ document “unceasingly points to the reality that the beauty of married love is not confined to an ideal world or exceptional relationships, but is realistic and attainable for most men and women. . . . The declining number of Catholics who marry in the church is an enormous pastoral problem in the Diocese of San Diego and throughout the nation. Thus it is essential for our parishes to reflect a deep culture of invitation and hospitality toward all couples who have not yet celebrated Catholic marriage.”

There are 195 dioceses and archdioceses in the United States, and most don’t appear to have issued new guidelines – and aren’t required to. However, the teaching document was the product of two years of high-level meetings that Francis called, and resulted in the expectation that something would change or be discussed in a new way. There was and is a great deal of speculation about what Francis’s aim was in calling the synods and where his teaching document points.

Many acknowledged he had changed no doctrine, but had given in particular divorced and remarried people a warm welcome and hope that he was urging priests to be lenient and forgiving and merciful.