Why does the Catholic Church refuse to “relax” certain moral standards even when a high percentage of Catholics desire such a move? It’s because the job of the Church is not to produce “nice,” spiritually mediocre people who “get along” with everybody. The job of the Church is to produce saints, people of radical holiness. Lowering moral standards would mute the call to sanctity.
At the same time, the Church has a most lenient penitential system. We all fall short of Jesus’ standard of perfection and require God’s mercy. The other job of the Church is to be the vehicle of God’s love and mercy when we fall. God’s loving mercy does not lower moral standards. Mercy provides help and support in shooting for those standards.
Catholics (indeed, all Christians) are called to radical holiness. We are all called to sainthood. Lowering the bar won’t cut it. Instead, seek to meet the bar.
(Paraphrase of a commentary by Fr. Robert Barron)