Pope Francis has enraged transgender activists after describing the idea of gender fluidity as the “annihilation of man.”
The Pope, who is known for his more liberal views on issues such as homosexuality, made the remarks at a closed meeting with Bishops in Krakow, however a transcript of the conversation was later released by the Vatican.
“Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender,” as a result of “persons and institutions who donate money.”
He went on to describe the process of “ideological colonizing” backed by “very influential countries,” which he did not identify. One such “colonization,” he said, “I’ll say it clearly with its first and last name – is gender.”
The comments have upset LGBT activists, with Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of the LGBT Catholic organisation DignityUSA, claiming that the comments show his “dangerous ignorance of gender identities.”
“It’s very troubling that the pope would say this,” Ms. Duddy-Burke continued. “It also shows that the pope doesn’t understand the danger that his words can mean for gender-nonconforming people, particularly those who live in countries with laws or cultural pressures that put these people at risk for violence.”
The Pope was similarly denounced by the LGBT news site PinkNews after his comments following the massacre of 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, where he failed to expressly mention the gay community.