Church must not fear the idea of reform that its founder embraced
Rome wasn't built in a day, as Mary McAleese understands. She doesn't expect the Catholic Church to re-evaluate its anti-gay stance overnight -- don't hold your breath to see Pope Francis lead the next Dublin Pride march as Grand Marshal.
But the former president is busy laying foundations, using her position to highlight an injustice and seek to overturn bigotry. She understands that gay people, of course, want to be treated as human beings and not as aberrations expected to suppress their natural instincts.
When they ask for equal rights to heterosexuals -- for example in the spheres of marriage and adoption -- it is misrepresented as promoting an aggressively homosexual agenda. Increasingly, however, secular society sees equal rights as no more than fair and proper. Not everyone takes such a view, but many do.