There's a looming same-sex showdown between progressives and conservatives at the highest levels of the Catholic Church hierarchy, and it's a battle the old guard can't win.
In keeping with Pope Francis's "Who am I to judge?" comment in July 2013, Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican have released a draft report showing an unprecedented openness towards gays, whom the bishops said had "gifts" to offer to the church and should be accepted, although same-sex marriage is still off the table. A group of conservative bishops quickly distanced themselves from the report and promised to fight any attempt to soften the church's traditional stance against homosexuality, showing just how badly out of touch they are with present day sentiment. In western liberal democracies, including Canada, anyone who unequivocally opposes or condemns the gay lifestyle has been successfully marginalized.
Tolerance, however, is a two way street. Contrary to the claims of the most strident sociopolitical progressives, it's possible to have faith-based moral misgivings about homosexuality without being homophobic or bigoted. While Jesus didn't include anything about "blessed are the gays" in the Sermon on the Mount, love, understanding and compassion are consistent New Testament themes. Pope Francis and his supporters are putting those principles into practice with their willingness to adjust longstanding church doctrine to fit with modern times.
In the interests of mutual tolerance and acceptance, it behooves the organized gay rights community to accept the olive branch graciously without demanding the whole tree.