Speaking at the end of July with Polish bishops during World Youth Day, Pope Francis made it clear that gender theory that asserts that everyone can choose their own sex is “the exact opposite” of God’s creation.

The Pope also said bluntly that there were powerful institutions which funded the spread of “gender theory” in schools. The Pope stated:

In Europe, in America, in Latin America, in Africa, in some countries of Asia, there are ideological colonizations. And one of these — I say it clearly with name and surname “ is gender! Today children, children are taught this in school that one can choose one’s sex! And why do they teach this? Because the books used are those of individuals and institutions that give money. They are ideological colonizations, supported also by very influential countries. And this is terrible. Speaking with Pope Benedict, who is well and has clear thinking, he said to me: “Holiness, this is the time of the sin against God the Creator!” He is intelligent! God has created man and woman; God created the world thus, and thus, and thus … and we are doing the opposite. God has given us an “untilled” state, so that we can till it; and then, with this tilling, we are doing things that are taking us back to the “untilled” state! We must think about what Pope Benedict said: It’s the time of the sin against God the Creator! And this will help us.

Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of DignityUSA, an organization for LGBT Catholics, denounced Francis, saying:

The pope is demonstrating a lamentable and dangerous ignorance of a subject that is literally a matter of life and death to some people. What many, including Pope Francis, do not yet understand is that people do not ‘choose’ their genders. A gender is assigned at birth, and some people discover that they were incorrectly classified. … It is interesting that until recently, the prevailing belief was that people chose their sexual orientation. Now, even the Catechism of the Catholic Church acknowledges that there are some people "who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex" and that this is a "deep-seated" reality. It seems that we will have to undergo the same kind of conversion in our thinking about gender.