People forget that before Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical against birth control, there was widespread hope and reasonable arguments among more liberal theologians that birth control would be approved. The news that Pope Paul VI took such a hard line was devastating (I’ve interviewed theologians, now of advanced years, about the experience when the news came out).
He’s also talked about his sympathy for married priests, and given that married priests were pretty normal for around 1000 years of Catholic history, that’s not so far-fetched.
Fascinating and important, even if (like me), you aren’t a Catholic. Because over a billion people are. None of this matches my views. There’s nothing to forgive for abortion, for example. But this isn’t about my views.