Following the recent Irish referendum that recognized same-sex marriage, Pope Francis insisted again on Monday that the “complementarity of man and woman” is essential to marriage, but is under attack from “so-called gender ideology, in the name of a freer and fairer society.”
The Pope has repeatedly warned his audiences of the dangers of an ideology of gender that seeks to undermine the proper understanding of marriage as well as human sexuality.
At the Vatican on Monday, the Pope welcomed a group of bishops from Puerto Rico, and once again took the occasion to thump “gender ideology,” while speaking of the importance of family ministry.
Noting that the family is under attack from a series of social ills, the Pope underscored “the value and beauty” of marriage, founded on “the complementarity of man and woman,” which he called “the crown of God’s creation.”
The Pope went on to observe that traditional marriage between a man and a woman “is being questioned by the so-called gender ideology.”
In reality, Francis said, the differences between men and women do not suggest “opposition or subordination,” but are meant for “communion and procreation, always in the image and likeness of God.”
This is not the first time the Pope has sounded the alarm on the dangers of gender politics. Francis has used the strongest language imaginable, calling modern gender ideology “demonic,” and comparing gender theory with “the educational policies of Hitler.” The Pope has also said that gender theory fails to recognize “the order of creation.”
The Pope has received backlash from the LGBT lobby for criticizing “an academic perspective that sees gender identities as a spectrum rather than as binaries.” Basing himself on Biblical theology, the Pope has declared that God creates people as “male and female,” rather than an ever expanding spectrum of contrived pseudo-sexual genders.
“I wonder,” said Pope Francis last April, “whether the so-called theory of gender is not an expression of frustration and resignation, which tries to erase sexual differences because it doesn’t know how to handle them.”
Following Ireland’s marriage referendum last month, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called the legal recognition of same-sex marriage a “defeat for humanity,” and said he was “deeply saddened” by the outcome of the vote.
When Parolin came under fire for the statement, which Slate called “over the top,” the Vatican stood behind him. Senior Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi not only confirmed that Cardinal Parolin had used these words but he also indicated that the Vatican was sticking by them, word for word.