In February, 2016, Pope Francis told journalists in Poland on the occasion of his meeting with bishops for World Youth Day that the ideology of “gender” is a form of “ideological colonization”.
Today children – children! – are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the persons and institutions that give you money. These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this terrible!
In October, 2016, he reiterated this criticism, condemning the “indoctrination of gender theory”, going on to say of transgenderism, “It is one thing for a person to have this tendency, this option and even to have a sex change, but it is another thing to teach this in schools in order to change mentalities. This I call ideological colonisation”.
And yet a new book on education by Pope Francis is scheduled to be released tomorrow, September 28, 2017. Entitled, Learn to Learn. Reflections on Education Issues (Imparare ad imparare. Riflessioni sui temi dell’educazione), the book features a preface by Valeria Fedeli, the Italian Minister of Education, University, and Research – who is also a vocal LGBT and gender theory advocate.
According to pro-traditional family organization Generazione Famiglia, in recent years, Fedeli has been “undoubtedly the most tenacious and ideological supporter of the manipulation of school programs of every order and degree according to the dictates of gender theories,” a goal the organization claims she has attempted to pursue through legislation.
According to Gaypost.it — a publication describing itself as being composed of “a group of journalists, journalists, bloggers, LGBT militants, and common people” with the goal of advocacy for “gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and intersex people, their families, and women” — the Italian “gay community” received her appointment as “good news”, recalling her work as signatory on a bill “for the introduction of gender education in schools to counteract violence against women, stereotypes and discrimination against people of all sexual orientation and gender identity.” Gaypost.it notes that it was Catholic “fundamentalist organizations” who opposed that initiative, and called Fedeli’s appointment an “outrage to the people”.
So where does this leave Pope Francis?
Is this like the case of Emma Bonino, another Italian politician who was the country’s most notorious abortionist — who claims to have performed as many as 10,000 abortions in a single year, many with a device improvised from a bicycle pump — whom Francis considers “among the great ones of today’s Italy” and a personal friend?
In an interview with Corriere della Sera, the pope said of Bonino, “They say: ‘This is a person who thinks very differently from us [Catholics].’ True, but never mind. We have to look at people, at what they do”.
In this sense, news of the author of the book’s preface is entirely consistent with the pope’s thinking. For in the same press conference in October of 2016, Francis also told the story of a Spanish couple he met with in an audience at the Vatican in 2015:
The husband was born a girl, but always felt like a boy. When she was in her 20s, she told her mother she wanted a sex change operation, but the mother begged her not to do it as long as she was alive. When her mother died, she had the surgery, the Pope said.
A Spanish bishop, “a good bishop,” spent time a lot of time “to accompany this man,” who later married, the Pope said. They asked to come to the Vatican “and I received them and they were very happy.”
In the town where the man lived, he said, a new priest, “when he would see him would shout at him from the sidewalk, ‘You will go to hell!’ But when he’d meet his old priest, he would say to him, ‘How long has it been since you’ve confessed? Come on, confess so you can take Communion.’”
“Do you understand?” the Pope asked the journalists. “Life is life and you must take things as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances” create problems “and you cannot say, ‘it’s all the same, let’s throw a party.’ No.”
Welcome the person, study the situation, accompany the person and integrate him or her into the life of the community, the Pope said. “This is what Jesus would do today.”
It appears that when it comes to the ideological colonization of children he condemns, his actual philosophy is a far more familiar one: “Who am I to judge?”
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.