I have no idea what the man actually *does* in relation to the Synod, nor how many other cardinals share his particular duties on the synod (and dilute his influence, presuming he has any), nor whether the position has real clout or is ceremonial due to his age and rank. Nor do I know if Francis was aware of his history when he appointed him (though I find it hard to believe he wasn’t).
What I know is that he has behaved despicably toward the integrity of the victims of sexual abuse and that, as a layperson with children, it sends, shall we say, the wrong message to those of us living the vocation of marriage and family to have him anywhere near the proceedings of a body that is deliberating how the Church should wrestle with these issues (except perhaps has a laboratory specimen of how not to shepherd people victimized by sexual abuse). Personally, I think he belongs behind bars.
Such an appointment is, of course, a prudential judgment and there may be some overriding reason Francis knows and I don’t that prompted him to make the appointment. But as a member of the nobody-important-slob-laity I register my bleat of “What are you thinking?” and hope the Holy Father will either ditch or ignore this man.