Neither public servants nor clergy nor holy books nor heroes are infallible. Battling obscurantism does not mean we are saints of any kind. It means we will not accept a tyrant's bogus paradise, and are free to form our own words and images and make up our own minds.
The very first thing we all need to do today is thank the LGBT Pride committee in New York City for letting Bill Donohue march in the parade. And the second thing we all need to do, later on in the day, is buy ourselves or someone else a cold Guinness.
What's critical to realize -- lest we believe that Christian doctrine actually compels its adherents to condemn gay people -- is that anti-gay religious sentiment has always been a matter of tone and focus, so a change here is both the best we're likely to get and possibly all that's really needed.
In saying "I have never been a right-winger" in the same interview in which he's criticizing the church for being too "obsessed" with gay marriage and abortion, Francis is hitting at those Catholic leaders who use gay rights and abortion to wield political power, putting them on notice.
How can liberal politicians remain a part of an institution that labels homosexuality an "intrinsic disorder," refuses to ordain women as priests and calls abortion a "moral evil," even in the case of rape or incest?
If Bill Donahue traveled a little more he'd know there are many countries where attempts to censor criticism of religion -- as the Catholic League attempts to do -- are rightly considered archaic and repulsive.