Pope Francis appears to have condemned transgender people in his environmental encyclical published on Thursday (18 June).
Environmentalists praised the papal letter, entitled Laudato Si (Praise Be), but one passage in the 184-page document seems to say that transgender peope should accept their God-given bodies and not ‘manipulate [them] at will.’
‘The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home,’ he wrote.
‘Whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation.’
‘Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.’
The pope then echoed comments he made earlier this week about the ‘complimentary’ differences between men and women.
‘Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different,’ he wrote.
‘In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek "to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it."’
Earlier this year, the pontiff compared transgender people to nuclear weapons, saying saying both do not ‘recognize the order of creation.’