« on: January 16, 2014, 10:06:14 pm »
First of all, he probably doesn't believe that gays or women should be 100% equal to straight males in the eyes of the Church. He is a reformer, but that doesn't mean he's secretly a Marxist or a Feminist or even all that keen on equal rights for LGBTs in general. So even if he did have the power to institute immediate, radical changes in Church doctrine (which for the multiple reasons I stated before, he DOESN'T), he wouldn't do it. But he's also clearly acknowledging that the Church is backward and outdated in many of the ways it goes about its business, if not the fundamental doctrines underpinning the faith. So he is giving the Church a much needed housecleaning to get it a little lighter on its feet so it is capable of moving faster on social change issues - which will, over time, allow the Church to amend its standing on some of its more basic doctrinal stances.
Look, I'm not a fan of the RCC in anything except its sense of aesthetics. I wish everyone would quit being Catholic this afternoon. But just because I disagree with the RCC strongly on what I believe to be fairly sturdy moral grounds, doesn't mean that an abrupt change in its direction wouldn't tear the entire organization to pieces - doubtlessly leaving a majority of its followers still headed in the same direction as they were before, only more determined to never ever change. As much as the Church tells its followers what to believe and how to behave, they also tell the Church what it is allowed to teach. That's the nature of a huge organization. It can lead the way to change, but it must do so incrementally and slowly if it wants to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of its members and influence over their opinions. With an institution the size and age of the RCC, yes, time often moves on the scale of centuries, or at least decades. There are still Catholics who are pissed off about Vatican II, for fuck's sake. You're not going to turn that boat on a dime, no matter how much you or anyone else wishes you could.
I also think it's a little disturbing how everyone wants everything to happen right fucking NOW NOW NOW. Thanks, Internet. Would you be blaming Suffragettes for taking half-measures against patriarchy because all they wanted was the vote? Things take time, no matter what it seems like on the evening news. Especially with things as deeply held as human sexual identity, you can't just say "well we all believe X now." You have to move slowly so the masses end up thinking that they've always believed X.