It's very easy for a young American
to accept Western society's current majority views on homosexuality
as "common sense" and obvious to all but the insane. It's a little more difficult for an 80 year old Polish
man who grew up inside the Church
and would have to explain why he's going against thousands of years of Church teaching to embrace
a segment of society that many religious
people still want nothing to do with.
For a Church which seems to take hundreds of years to change anything, I find the Pope's views more modern than one might expect. You wouldn't have seen a Pope talking like that in 1900. I still disagree with John Paul, but I'm sure there's some other issues which he and I see even more differently (such as the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, for example).
But I have great respect for the man and he certainly is not insane. That mind is a lot sharper than the body.