Pope Francis has said teaching children gender theory in schools was an “insidious indoctrination”, even as he insisted he had always treated homosexuals and transsexuals with respect.
“It is one thing to have homosexual tendencies or a sex change,” the pope said in comments to journalists made on board the papal plane after he wrapped up a three-day tour in the Caucasus and headed home to Rome.
“But it is another thing to teach it in schools.”
Trying to “change attitudes” like this is “ideological colonisation,” the pope said, building on comments he made Saturday in Tbilisi, when he argued that gender theory was part of a “global war” on traditional family values and marriage.
Gender theory is, broadly speaking, the idea that while people may be biologically male or female, they may choose to identify as male or female — or both or neither.
When asked about his attitude to homosexual or transsexual people, Pope Francis repeated his call that they should be welcomed, accepted and integrated into society as much as possible.
“I accompanied people with these tendencies, with homosexual practices, I brought them closer to the Lord,” he said.
“Some were not able (to follow the church’s teachings), but I never abandoned one of them,” he said.
The pontiff, who took the papal name Francis in homage to Saint Francis of Assisi, the Christian friar devoted to the downtrodden, told reporters about a Spanish person who had a sex change to become a man and then married a woman.
A local priest told the couple they would “go to hell”, which caused them great suffering, but after they wrote to Francis, the pope received them and treated them with dignity, he said.
“Life is life, and things should be taken as they come,” the pope said.
“Please don’t write that the pope will sanctify transsexuals. I can see the front pages of papers now,” he added.
“It is a moral question, and it must be resolved as best as possible, always with the mercy of God.”
Earlier in his papacy, Francis famously said “who am I to judge?” about homosexuality but in April this year refused to recognise same sex couples in new Church guidelines on family life.
Greenpeace sounds alarm over shark overfishing in North Atlantic
Thousands of endangered sharks are killed each year in the North Atlantic due to a lack of protection against overfishing in international waters, Greenpeace said Thursday.
Fishing vessels dedicated primarily to catching swordfish in the area collectively caught four times more sharks than swordfish by weight with their long lines loaded with thousands of hooks, the environmental group said in a report based on findings from Greenpeace ship Esperanza which visited the region earlier this year.
"It is absolutely immoral to kill sharks and other wildlife with these terrible fishing practices," said Will McCallum, of Greenpeace?s Protect the Oceans campaign, in a statement.
Alabama is prosecuting a pregnant woman for manslaughter for being shot in the stomach — but not her shooter
On Wednesday, AL.com reported that Marshae Jones, a 27-year-old woman from Birmingham, Alabama, was indicted on manslaughter charges.
Her crime? Allegedly instigating a fight that led to her being shot in the stomach and losing her pregnancy. The woman who actually shot her, on the other hand — 23-year-old Ebony Jemison — is walking free after a grand jury rejected the case against her.
Immediately after the shooting, which allegedly stemmed from a fight over the baby's father and took place outside a Dollar General in Pleasant Grove, in December, prosecutors announced their intention to charge Jones for having a miscarriage.
Jared Kushner whines: ‘I don’t think it’s a fair question’ to ask about dead family in the Rio Grande
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner complained it was not "fair" to ask why the Trump administration isn't able to protect the lives of migrant families — even though he is supposedly the Trump administration's point man for immigration reform.
"You've also been tasked by the president to work on immigration," said Blitzer. "I'm sure you've seen the horrific photo of the father and 23-month-old daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande. And you've heard about the truly deplorable conditions for migrant children, that kids don't have toothpaste, soap, toddlers don't have diapers. You're a father, you're a man of faith. Why isn't the Trump Administration doing more to protect the lives of kids?"