On Saturday, Pope Francis called gender theory a “great enemy” of marriage, adding that the ideology of gender is part of a global war of ideas out to destroy traditional marriage.
In an extended, off-the-cuff speech in Georgia, Francis said that today we are witnessing a “global war to destroy marriage” in which gender theory places a key role, fighting “not with weapons, but with ideas.”
The Pope has been an outspoken critic of LGBT agitators’ efforts to impose same-sex marriage and theories of gender fluidity that divorce gender from biological sexual differences.
Earlier this year, Francis published an lengthy teaching text on marriage and the family called The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), in which he underscored the unique value of motherhood and fatherhood, neither of which is dispensable or replaceable with a unisex version of “parent.”
He also said that the “legal deconstruction of the family” taking place in many countries cannot bode well for the future of society. It is unacceptable that “international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex,” he said.
In that same letter, Francis slammed gender theory for its denial of “the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman,” and for its dream of “a society without sexual differences.”
“An appreciation of our body as male or female,” he said, is “necessary for our own self-awareness in an encounter with others different from ourselves.” Efforts to cancel out sexual differences based in anatomy are a symptom of a sick society that “no longer knows how to deal with it,” he wrote.
This past August, after the Pope once again decried the introduction of gender theory into schools, LGBT activists reacted strongly, accusing Francis of butting in where he doesn’t belong.
Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT advocacy group, said that the Pope was ignorant about gender issues.
“Nobody chooses a gender identity. They discover it,” he said. “Transgender people come to know themselves in a process is [sic] similar to the way that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people discover their sexual orientation.”
DeBernardo added that “most reputable scientific experts say that allowing children to transition in youth is both a physically and psychologically healthy thing for them to do in most cases.”
That same month, however, the American College of Pediatricians issued a position paper warning that gender ideology is harmful to children.
Failing to identify with one’s biological sex signals a psychological disorder that must be dealt with, not pandered to, the physicians argued.
“A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking,” the paper states. “When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.”
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