Pope Francis is being criticized for denouncing schools that are accepting of transgender children.
The Vatican has released a transcript of Pope Francis’ remarks about gender – and he’s not very happy with the growing acceptance of trans people in society.
“Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender,” he said in a closed-door meeting with Catholic bishops last week.
Francis added that the increased visibility of trans people is due to “ideological colonizing” through textbooks financed by wealthy people and institutions in “very influential countries” – which he believes is “terrible”.
However, he declined to name any specific countries, people or institutions.
He also quoted his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI: “Speaking with Pope Benedict, who is well and has a clear mind, he was telling me, ‘Holiness, this is the epoch of sin against God the Creator, he’s intelligent! God created man and woman, God created the world this way, this way, this way, and we are doing the opposite.'”
Pope Francis is seen by many as progressive in terms of acceptance of the LGBT community, after saying the Church should apologize to gay people in June, but clearly, these sentiments have a breaking point.
Kelsey Louie, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, said he was “saddened and disturbed” by the Pope’s remarks.
He added, “Our children deserve to know that of course they have the right to choose, and GMHC applauds all schools that teach students not to oppress who they are, but instead live the life as the gender they most identify with.”
Mr Louie also noted that in the wake of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, “what we need now is for our world leaders to spread messages of tolerance and acceptance.”