In quite a contrast to previous Church leaders, Pope Francis has generated confusion with his statements to the press, in his writings about Church theology, and with his actions. For example, for the fourth time this year, a transgender group was recently welcomed to the Vatican, including one individual who has undergone so-called sex change surgery. The group was led by a priest and a nun into the papal audience and greeted by the pope, whose welcome reportedly gave the group "great hope."
"It's a little shocking that Pope Francis would continue to meet with members of the transgender community despite the fact that he has continuously spoken against gender ideology and even against the blessing of same-sex civil unions," comments Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute. "It seems to be a bit of a contradiction."
According to LifeSiteNews.com, "the Holy Father greeted and exchanged a few words with a group of persons who have either undergone a 'sex-change' surgery or who simply identify as the opposite of their actual sex." Hichborn points out that anyone who has undergone such an operation has mutilated the body in a genetically unsuccessful effort to become the opposition gender.
"At the very least, you would expect anybody who had any sense of the necessity of leaving sin behind for the salvation of their souls, you would expect the Holy Father to at least speak to them about the necessity of changing the way they live," Hichborn submits.
Despite the LGBTQ lobbying, the Church has not and cannot change its teaching of homosexuality or transgender issues, since it is based upon the order of nature established by God the Creator and stands immutably as part of the deposit of faith.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity." (CCC #2333) Likewise, in 1975, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared in Personae Humanae, "There can be no true promotion of man's dignity unless the essential order of his nature is respected."
But under Pope Francis' leadership, Hichborn says many members of the Catholic Church are wondering whether approval of birth control, endorsement of abortion, or honoring false marriage for homosexuals could be next.