Pope Francis reiterated his opposition to transgenderism on Friday, warning that it’s a “dangerous ideology” and arguing that its proponents are naïve if they believe they’re on the “path to progress.”
“Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” the pope said in an interview to Argentina’s La Nacion newspaper. “Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women.”
The pontiff has repeatedly spoken out against gender theory over the years, even as he has emphasized the need to be welcoming and provide pastoral care for transgender people. For instance, he has likened gender ideology to nuclear arms and genetic manipulation, and he has warned that it’s part of a “global war” against marriage and the family.
He has frequently used the term “ideological colonization” in reference to cases in which influential organizations and governments require developing countries to accept abortion, contraception and Western values before they can receive aid money. For example, he lamented to Catholic bishops in 2016 that schoolchildren were being taught that they can choose their gender. “Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the people and institutions that give you money.”
The pope told La Nacion that transgenderism ignores inescapable differences between men and women. “All humanity is the tension of differences,” he said. “It is to grow through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same – all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”
The Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican office that provides official guidance to Catholic schools, issued a document in June 2019 dismissing gender ideology as “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.” It added that such theories seek to “annihilate the concept of nature.”