Pope Francis made several remarks about LGBT people aboard the papal plane en route to Rome following a trip to the former Soviet republic of Georgia on Sunday, lashing out about the teaching of “gender theory” to children, and elaborating on his remarks about gay people.
The Pope recounted a meeting with a French father whose young son wanted to be a girl after reading about it in a textbook.
“This is against nature,” he said. “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,” the Pope said.
The Pope denounced schools teaching gender theory for “indoctrination” but said that trans people and people who are gay should receive pastoral care.
Francis was asked Sunday en route home aboard the papal plane how, given his firm denunciation of gender theory, he would minister to Catholics who had struggled all their lives feeling that their bodies physically didn’t match their gender or sexual orientation.
Francis said he had ministered to such Catholics as a priest, bishop and now pope.
“I’ve never abandoned them,” he said. “When someone who has this condition comes before Jesus, Jesus would surely never say ‘go away because you’re gay.’”
“Life is life, and things should be taken as they come,” the pope said. “Sin is sin, but tendencies or hormonal imbalances … can cause many problems and we have to be careful.
“But each case must be welcomed, accompanied, studied, discerned and integrated. This is what Jesus would do today.”
He then joked: “Please don’t write that the pope will sanctify transsexuals. I can see the front pages of papers now. But no, it is a moral question. It is a human question, and it must be resolved as best as possible, always with the mercy of God, the truth … always with an open heart.”
Pope Francis has spoken out against teaching gender theory before, writing about it in a book:
“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”
“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”
He also spoke about it on a trip to Poland in August. Francis said it is “terrible” that “today in schools, they are teaching this to children — to children! — that everyone can choose their own gender.”