You can read John Allen's full article at Crux. But here are some key excerpts:
For Catholics accustomed to traditional ways of doing things, Pope Francis is undeniably a shock to the system.
Americans got a reminder of that during his recent visit when he defied conventional left/right divisions by meeting Kim Davis, the face of opposition to gay marriage in the United States, as well as a longtime friend from Argentina who is in an openly gay relationship.
It was vintage Francis. He exudes a talk-to-everyone ethos, emphasizing that Catholicism needs to get out into the street, even at the risk of getting dirty, in order to make itself relevant. That approach has given Francis enormous popularity inside and outside the Church — including, despite what one might think from some media coverage, generally strong support among the world’s bishops and inside the Vatican itself.
For some in that group, Francis represents a break with Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. They charge that Francis has exacerbated the Church’s internal divisions, with some even floating the prospect of a “schism,” meaning a formal splintering into rival camps.
Francis is not the repudiation of Benedict XVI, but the “radicalization” of his predecessor’s legacy.
Benedict, he says, understood that a growing rupture between faith and culture has left Catholicism in a deep crisis, and he laid an intellectual basis for rethinking how the Church can engage a post-modern secular age.
Francis, as he sees it, is now jolting the Church out of long-established patterns to allow the rethinking Benedict wanted to occur — not at the price of diluting the Church’s teaching, but in order to revive its capacity to win hearts and to shape history.
In other words, Francis is basically shock therapy for the Church.
Such therapy is notoriously painful and unsettling, often causing patients to experience confusion and disorientation — both of which are palpably present in some circles of Catholicism these days. Yet there are times when it’s the only way to jolt the patient out of a funk.
Psychiatrists will tell you that shock therapy should be used only as a last resort, and it doesn’t always work. It’s effective only about half the time, and even when it does succeed, its effects often wear off over time.
Viewing Pope Francis this way, however, might at least have the side-effect of reassuring anxious elements of his base that he’s not out to harm Church teaching and tradition. He’s actually trying to save it.
My Comments: I think this all ties into the stealthy Pope Francis which I believe is true. I will eat my biretta if Pope Francis in his exhortation on the Synod on the Family (which will be the only authoritative document that we must acknowledge as authoritative!) if he allows Holy Communion to those living formally in adultery without the codicil that they abstain from the "marital act" since they aren't married in the eyes of God. He will make clear what is already true, that if someone in an immoral adulterous relationship is near death or facing a possible death, they may be readmitted to the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion by way of the Last Rights (Anointing of the Sick).
The same will apply to those who are gay. If they are trying to live a chaste life the Holy Father will offer them great encouragement and ask the world to love those who struggle with their sexuality which includes others who are not gay but struggle with various sexual "philias" that are unnatural also, most of which are experienced by heterosexuals by the way.