What do you make of Ratzinger as the new pope? The Catholic Church's view on homosexuality is well known as also it's condemnation of its own sheep to death because of its stand against condoms as protection against HIV (a stand that puts the Church's own survival in peril--a good thought, but at what cost!).
Ratzinger and every Catholic (for that matter, anyone at all) in the world is entitled to their views on homosexulity. As long as they are themselves not gay (especially closeted) or they don't put other people's lives in peril. I can imagine the torment gone through by young gay Catholics who are yet to come to terms to their sexuality and find the balance between their personal convictions and the Church's beliefs (here's a 1986 publication drafted by Ratzinger and approved by John Paul II). Undoubtedly, many contemplate suicide. Some commit it. We can only pray that the tortured souls find the right help, in time. (As an aside, here's an encounter of one of my favorite writers with Ratzinger.)
Here's a well-written article by Richard Cohen, a columnist with The Washington Post, which covers the Church and homosexuality, condoms, AIDS, etc. and Ratzinger's so-called Nazi past.
What I don't see discussed anywhere how the Catholic Church is the only religious organization that has a United Nations membership (not like the countless others which are merely heard on the UN's many sponsored organizations). I believe the Vatican has statehood and as such equal status as any other country. This gives it even more power and this has been abused (in cohorts with some Islamic nations!) to block the "Brazil resolution" at the UN (the latest is that the resolution has lapsed, in spite of intesne lobbying by activists). Shouldn't we debate why Catholicism has this special right at the UN? Shouldn't stripping the Vatican of its membership also be part of the imminent reforms at the UN?