To touch on current events, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out: Vatican drafts new guidelines for accepting priestly candidates that (apparently) will bar homosexuals. A common response in American church circles to settled doctrine on homosexuality has been in effect to say “yes, official doctrine is that it’s sinful, but it’s not a doctrine that should ever have any practical consequences.” Discrimination, after all, is recognized by properly socialized moderns as the ultimate sin, and as the article demonstrates (read the fourth paragraph) people will go to all lengths to obfuscate any problems.
The new guidelines will make such views somewhat harder to maintain comfortably, although I expect most of those in official positions to rise to the occasion. So the guidelines may have no more immediate practical effect than various recent attempts in California and elsewhere to get rid of affirmative action. Still, the midterm and distant future may be a different story. It seems clear that in the extreme form which it eventually takes liberalism does not work, inside or outside the Church, and that overall a foundation is being laid for a return to greater orthodoxy. And if that return is based more on direct attachment by the people to Catholic truth and tradition and less on what the higher-ups say, it will no doubt be all to the good.