Pope Francis is cool. He speaks out for refugees. He promotes environmental causes. He thinks transgender people are an affront to creation.
Okay, that last bit's not so cool.
During a talk with Polish bishops on Tuesday, the pope referred to trans people as an example of "annihilation of man as image of God."
"Today, in schools they are teaching this to children — to children! — that everyone can choose their gender," Francis said, according to a transcript released by the Vatican. "God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite.”
Francis went on to blame "influential countries" for the "ideological colonizing" of children's thoughts on the issue through textbooks. He did not specify what countries were in the pocket of Big Gender.
This isn't the first time Francis has railed against trans people. Even as he has been hailed for his relatively liberal positions in other areas, he has repeatedly spoken out against the idea that people might have a different gender identity from their assigned sex at birth. In February remarks, he compared "gender theory" with nuclear weapons on a list of evils plaguing mankind.
What may alarm Francis fans is that apparently the pope is being influenced on this matter by the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI. Francis quoted Benedict in his talk, saying he has discussed the matter with his predecessor, who resigned in 2013 due to health concerns.
"Speaking with Pope Benedict, who is well, and has a clear mind, he was telling me: 'Holiness, this is the epoch of sin against God the Creator," Francis said.
Well, if Francis's comments on gender issues fail to gain traction, he and Benedict have a great name for their new death metal band in "Epoch of Sin."