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KRAKOW, Poland, August 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis strongly criticized gender theory while in Poland for World Youth Day last week, saying it was “terrible” for children to be taught in school that gender is a choice and that such things amount to the destruction of the idea that man is made in God’s image.

“Today, in schools, they are teaching this to children — to children! — that everyone can choose their gender,” the Holy Father said.

“And why teach this?” he asked, going on to fault textbooks supplied by “persons and institutions who donate money,” for “ideological colonization” supported by “very influential countries.”

“And this is terrible,” Pope Francis stated.

Referring to the “colonization” he said, “I’ll say it clearly with its first and last name — is gender.”

Pope Francis made his remarks in a private meeting with the bishops of Poland during his visit there for World Youth Day. The Vatican released the transcript of the meeting on Tuesday.

In addition to making perhaps his strongest statement against gender ideology yet, the pope also cited his predecessor on the subject, revealing that he has discussed gender with Pope Benedict XVI, and he agreed with the pope emeritus that going against God’s plan for creation via gender theory exemplified an era today of sin against God.

“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,’” said Pope Francis, continuing on about his predecessor with, “He’s intelligent!”

“God created man and woman,” the Holy Father went on to tell the Polish bishops. “God created the world this way, this way, this way, and we are doing the opposite.”

The pontiff concluded by re-emphasizing Pope Benedict’s pronouncement of gender ideology as sin, telling the bishops he would like them to reflect on this: “We must think about what Pope Benedict said — ‘It’s the epoch of sin against God the Creator.'”

Pope Francis has condemned gender theory several times before, speaking previously of “ideological colonization” in March 2015 in Italy.

“Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion,” he said at the time. “So the family is under attack.”

Then in April of last year the pope said gender ideology was a backward step for humanity, stating, “If so-called gender theory is not an expression of frustration and resignation, that aims to cancel out sexual difference as it is no longer able to face it. Yes, we run the risk of taking a step backwards. Indeed, the removal of difference is the problem, not the solution.”

The Holy Father referenced “ideological colonization” earlier last year as well, and in 2014, Austrian Bishop Andreas Laun wrote in an essay that Pope Francis had told him, ‘Gender ideology is demonic!’”


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