Pope Francis has not commented on Bruce Jenner’s transformation, but we are not without clues as to what he might be thinking. The pope, like his two predecessors, has spoken directly and quite strongly about the intellectual hollowness of gender theory and gender ideology. These popular strains in post-modernist thought discount, if not deny, the role played by nature in shaping human behavior. Here’s a sample of what Pope Francis has said on this subject:
- “I ask myself, if the so-called gender theory is not, at the same time, an expression of frustration and resignation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it. Yes, we risk taking a step backwards.” (4-15-15)
- “The crisis of the family is a social reality. Then there are ideological colonizations of the family, modes and proposals from Europe and also from overseas. The error of the human mind that is gender theory creates a lot of confusion.” (3-23-15)
- On board a flight from Manila to Rome, after he labeled “gender theory” a form of “ideological colonization,” he said: “Why do I say ideological colonization? Because they take, they really take, they take the need of a people to seize an opportunity to enter and grow strong—with the children. But it is not new, this. The same was done by the dictatorships of the last century. They entered with their own doctrine—think of Balilla [Mussolini’s fascist youth organization], think of the Hitler Youth.” (1-19-15)
- “Let us be on guard against colonization by new ideologies. There are forms of ideological colonization which are out to destroy the family.” (1-16-15)
- “Gender ideology is demonic!” (1-30-14)
Pope Francis would never demonize Bruce Jenner—s/he possesses the same human dignity afforded all of God’s people. But by branding as demonic the very ideology that justifies his transformation, the pope makes it clear what he thinks of it.