Cardinal Sins?

Call me a “liberal softy,” for I have been burdened by experiencing a touch of sadness about the plight of Cardinal Keith O’Brien. Replacing my initial outrage by the remarks he made against equal marriage and gay people, is a sense of embarrassment that in 2013, people should be so appalled by his admissions of homosexual practice(?).
I cannot overstate the following: Although I am not a Catholic, I fully support the rights of all people to follow their chosen religious/spiritual paths. However, whist it was in accordance with the doctrine of the Catholic church, for the Cardinal to resign from his post, I believe that all people, regardless of religion, should practice greater empathy towards those who, for multitudinous reasons, feel unable to open their closet doors and proclaim their sexuality to a world, which can be more judgemental than accepting of “difference.”
I am particularly concerned about the welfare of lesbians and gay men whose desire for social acceptance, often leads to self-destructive urges and lifestyles. Suicide rates among gay men in the U.K. are particularly high and homophobia is a factor in substance addiction and the psychological distress of many in the LGBT community.
Whilst social equality seems to all rightful thinking cynics a utopian dream, accepting those whose lifestyles do not correspond with our own is essential, if we are to build a more egalitarian world, based on the model of liberal democracy.