VATICAN CITY - It's as if the ground has shifted beneath the Catholic church.
On Monday, bishops in Vatican City made a step toward acceptance of homosexuals by saying gay people "have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community."
Not only is the church getting friendly, but even opening itself to acceptance of gay marriage, saying the church must recognize the "positive" aspects of civil unions.
Regardless of the larger view, one cardinal is going rogue. In an interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke says homosexual relationships are harmful and disordered, and children should not be taken to family gatherings where gay people are present.
For the Catholic church at large, the shift in tone is like a rainbow at the end of a long dark storm of inequality.