Pope Francis has re-stated his disagreement with teaching children transgender issues in schools. On a return flight to Rome at the end of a three-day trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, he recounted a meeting with a French father whose young son wanted to be a girl after reading about it in a textbook.
According to the Pope, teaching children to change their sexual identity is a war against marriage and changing a child’s mentality on sexual identity in schools is ‘ideological colonization.’
The Pope said:
“This is against nature. It is one thing when someone has this tendency…and it is another matter to teach this in school. To change the mentality — I call this ideological colonization.”
Pope Francis had in August, condemned the teaching of gender identity theory to children. Pope Francis had said:
“Today, in schools they are teaching this to children — to children! — that everyone can choose their gender.”
New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT advocacy group, criticized those remarks. Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry said:
“The pontiff’s remarks are further evidence that church officials need desperately to educate themselves about the lives and experiences of LGBT people. Nobody chooses a gender identity. They discover it.”
The Pope, however, said he still spends time with transgender people, leading them closer to God.
As a new Pope in 2013, Francis made headlines around the world for his progressive stance on homosexuality. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis had asked.
The position appeared to be a shift from the traditional Catholic stance on homosexuality as a sin.