"People must be accompanied, as Jesus accompanied", he told journalists on the flight, said Vatican Radio.
He reiterated his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples during a press conference with reporters as he flew back to Rome from Georgia and neighboring Azerbaijan. According to the Minister, manuals do contain information regarding the equality between women and men, but that does not mean sex can be changed. "If this is destroyed, the image of God is soiled or disfigured".
"You mentioned a great enemy of marriage: gender theory", Francis replied, when asked by a woman in the audience about childhood education.
"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'. He's intelligent!"
"We know marriage to be a sacred and lovely thing", she added. Last week, Pope Francis came out in favor of a push to block the legalization of gay marriage in Mexico, an issue that has the support of Clinton in the United States.
"This model is one that should be adopted by bishops, priests, and pastoral ministers around the globe", said DeBernardo.
Francis cautioned, however, "Please don't write 'The pope blesses trans'. Please".
The Pope additionally described a "fictional situation" to bemoan the polarization of politics in nations like the U.S.
The director of New Ways Ministry, Francis DeBernardo, published a statement attacking the Pope for his comments, accusing him of being out of touch with reality for his "reliance upon so-called "gender theory" and 'ideological colonization'". "Now millions of people are deeply hurt by what Pope Francis has said about transgender and gender non-conforming people, which reveals a profound lack of knowledge and empathy".
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