"We work very extensively with the Catholic Church and I’ve had many discussions with them because we have a shared mission around social justice and anti-poverty," said Gates. "And I think what this pope sees is that if we are going to lift people out of poverty, you have to do the right thing for women. And so we have agreed at this point to disagree – "
Her interviewer cut her off, asking, "That’s a big problem for you, isn’t it, because actually culturally, the difference that could be made, if there was a change at the top of the Catholic Church, would be huge, wouldn’t it? And let’s be blunt about it. It would be a really, really big change and this pope, in spite of some people’s hopes that he would, has not made that change and doesn’t look likely to."
The pope "hasn’t made that change yet, but I think these things take time," said Gates. "This is an institution that does revisit. It revisited – it’s been a while since they revisited this topic – but I’m still optimistic that they might over time."
Despite the deafening silence on contraception and other sexual issues by most Catholic clergy, the notion that the Church might change its teaching on contraception has until very recently been laughed off as absolutely impossible.
The notion that the Church might allow Communion for the divorced and remarried without an annulment was also until very recently laughed off as a total impossibility. Then, after the release of Amoris Laetitia, numerous bishops' conferences issued guidelines implementing it that contradicted Church doctrine on sacrilege and the sixth commandment. Pope Francis has publicly approved of some of these interpretations.
... the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.