Pope Francis: Teaching Children About Gender Identity Is Sign of 'Epoch of Sin'

Pope Francis has lamented the fact that children are taught at school that they can choose their gender.

The pontiff made the comments in a private meeting with Polish clerics, a transcript of which was later released by the Vatican.

"Today, in schools they are teaching this to children—to children!—that everyone can choose their gender," Francis said.

"Speaking with Pope Benedict [Francis's predecessor], who is well, and has a clear mind, he was telling me: 'Holiness, this is the epoch of sin against God the Creator.' He's intelligent! God created man and woman, God created the world this way, this way, this way, and we are doing the opposite," Francis continued.

"We must think about what Pope Benedict said—'It's the epoch of sin against God the Creator.'"

The Pope referred to gender textbooks supplied by "persons and institutions who donate money." Francis blamed "ideological colonizing" backed by "very influential countries," which he didn't identify.

His comparatively liberal views on climate change and divorce have earned Francis praise in non-religious and liberal circles. But on matters of sexuality, Francis's views tend to be closer to traditional church orthodoxy.