Joshua J. McElwee | Feb. 13, 2015
Pope Francis has strongly criticized modern theories that consider people’s gender identities to exist along a spectrum, saying such theories do not “recognize the order of creation.”
Speaking of gender theory in an interview in a new book released in Italy, the pope even compares such theories to genetic manipulation, nuclear weapons and Hitler Youth indoctrination.
Gender theory is «a broad term for an academic school of thought that considers how people learn to identify themselves sexually and how they may become typed into certain roles based on societal expectations». [Fishwrap]
Asked in the book about how important it is for Christians to recover a sense of safeguarding of creation and sustainable growth, the pope first speaks of the duty of all people to respect and care for the environment.
But he then says that every historical period has “Herods” that “destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.”
“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”
“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”
“God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth,” Francis says. “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”
Francis makes his remarks in the Italian book Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, which recounts and analyzes the discourses, documents and interventions of the pope on the themes of poverty, immigration, social justice, and safeguarding of creation.
Written by veteran Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, the book, released last month, concludes with an interview given by Francis to the authors in October.
While the Italian daily La Stampa released the major part of that interview online in January, several portions of the interview are printed only in the book.
Francis’ remarks on gender theory in the book follow similar remarks he made in a press conference on the papal plane in January in which he criticized what he called “ideological colonization” of less developed countries by those with more resources.
Recounting the story of a public education minister he knew who was offered money to construct new schools for the poor, Francis said to receive the money, the minister had to agree to use a course book with students that taught gender theory.
“This is the ideological colonization,” the pope said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a mentality or a structure.”
“It is not new, this,” he continued. “The same was done by the dictators of the last century. They came with their own doctrine — think of the Balilla [youth groups of Fascist Italy], think of the Hitler Youth.” Continue reading