They discuss the emphasis on sexuality that seems to exist today while, in fact, the New Testament and Jesus in particular speaks very little about it. In fact, the contrary is actually true. Jesus seems to subvert the traditional family (e.g. his saying that unless you hate mother, brother, father, sister you cannot be my follower); the famous story of the woman caught in adultery. Given that history, it seems paradoxical that human sexuality has occupies such a seemingly central place in church teaching when it occupied such a small part of Jesus' words and when it did, it appeared to be the opposite of the general punitive tones associated with messaging from the church. On the other hand, it is true that Jesus does elevate marriage to a more permanent status than had existed previously.
However part of the problem with the emphasis, Douthat argues, is that sexuality is a popular topic in the culture. In fact, the pope rarely speaks of it but it is emphasized in the media. Historically and traditionally, sexual sins have been the least serious in the Catholic tradition. For example, in Dante's Inferno, sexual sins occupy the first ring while the lowest region is betrayal and injustice.
It is a very good discussion on modernity and the impact that modernity as a historical movement has had on the hierarchy as it did on the monarchy.
It is rare to find such a balanced, informed dialogue among two people discussing religion, public life and ideology.