From a priest at Mass:
Pope Francis is teaching us we no longer have to be trapped by the laws of the Church that do not make sense. By washing women's feet he showed us that we can ignore them (many of us have been for years anyway), that we are smart people and can figure things out for ourselves.
Well as long as it is nothing dogmatic, some "laws" are pretty minor. Canon law is fluid and can change from to age. Just consider how seriously some pre-Vatican II Catholics took meatless Fridays and novenas.
Jesus never enacted any positive laws other than the commandment to love as he loved. Jesus was himself a law-breaker as far as contemporary Pharisaic obsession with a literal, rigid obedience to the Torah was concerned. So that would depend strongly on the context.
In the Orthodox Churches, canons are broken all the time out of mercy for human weakness. Its called Oikonomia. A Greek Orthodox deacon once explained it to me. The church has all these canons but often does not abide by them out of sympathy for people.
Some rules are there to be broken as the old saying goes. Jesus said that we ought not to be like the Pharisees and bind burdens on people that are too hard to bear.
Therefore Pope Francis ignores certain canon laws when he feels that they are unnecessarily restrictive. Good for him! Jesus would be proud IMHO.
He's the Pope. He can do it if he likes and it sets a good example in that respect I think.
It lets the world know that we are not scrupulous Pharisees fearful to disobey innumerable "laws" that are not biblical or received directly from Sacred Tradition.
That is not a life of loving faith in Christ but misery under the weight of the "law" that Christ broke, destroyed and internalized.
From numerous people in support of gay marriage:
We have new hope in Pope Francis. He is removing the shroud of darkness from the Church and will bring us into the new century where we all have equal rights. His message of love and inclusion is a breath of fresh air for gay marriage.
Will never happen, so you need not worry. Doctrinally, the church can never bless gay unions as natural. Gay marriage is not possible within the church. Some Catholics -including bishops - are actually OK with civil partnerships that are purely secular in nature between people of the same gender inasmuch that we wont go crazy about society accepting such unions so long as the rights of the church are protected and it is not forced upon churches. However gay people will never be able to "marry" in a Catholic Church. It is a sacrament between a man and a woman, a covenant enshrined in nature. One of its salient parts is an openness to life "be fruitful and multiply" that homosexual relationships by their very nature cannot fulfil.
Recognition of the rights of gay people is different however. There is nothing sinful or wrong about being gay. Some people are simply born attracted to their own gender. We must always speak out against prejudice towards homosexual people on behalf of their human dignity.
From numerous people who want women priests:
Thank God for Pope Francis. We finally have a shot at equal rights for women.
Again you need not worry. Women priests is not part of the church's sacred tradition received from the Apostles. There will never be women priests because the church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women.
There is some genuine debate about whether women deacons were once actually part of the church's sacred orders. That is still a topic for debate until the church rules on the matter but women priests will never be possible.