Yes, the Pope is coming across nice and down to earth but that doesn't mean anything has changed in a big way in the teachings.<quoted text>
It reminds me a lot of what's been going on with the republican party since the elections last fall. They lost badly in certain demographics such as women, minorities, GLBT, and the younger crowd. They knew they blew it and they knew that changes are needed in order to win back some votes from these groups. So far they have given a halfhearted attempt to SEEM like they want to represent these people, but mostly they have made things worse for themselves.
For example, they are still doing all they can to limit womens health care severely. They continue to propose more restrictions on abortion and contraception and legislation that shuts down more and more clinics, removing access to needed care for millions of women. That's just one example.
They can try and TELL us that the "war on women" doesn't really exist, or that they are welcoming to minorities, it is just something the liberals have fabricated. But the policies they continue to pursue tell the real story.
Just as the republican party can PRETEND they are all sweet and cuddly with women and minorities, the Catholic Church can try to SEEM nicer to gay people, but the bottom line is, the church still teaches that actively gay people will burn in hell for eternity... so being kind to them while on earth is almost irrelevant when you're talking eternity.
I'm not ready to judge whether this pope is sincere in any of the things he says. It's pretty tough to be a high ranking Catholic and act like you have any care or respect for gay people at all. He doesn't seem anywhere near as homophobic as Benedict, but no pope has the power to make any drastic changes. Many in the church are realizing that a lot of people are getting really turned off by their intolerance, so they need a makeover. The makeover only makes them look a little nicer on the surface.
You can put lipstick on a pig, or you can put a pretty wrapper and bow on a box of hate, it doesn't change much.
What he is doing I notice this Pope is bringing the word charity to the front. He wants the YOUTH to help spread love of Catholicism. To be nice and pray for each other. By doing this it may bring more people into the Catholic Church.
There is no problem with that but if there no major changing like for birth control, helping clergy abuse victims, female issues, etc.... people will not comeback or they will just ignore the Pope and do what they want to do.