Pope Francis has taken a strong stance against gender ideologies that he said “blur differences” between men and women. File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo
March 11 (UPI) -- Pope Francis has taken a strong stance against gender ideologies that he said "blur differences" between men and women.
Francis made his comments in an interview with the Argentinian newspaper La Nación, which was translated into English by the Catholic News Agency.
"Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations," Francis said. "Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women."
Francis said humanity means growing "through the tension of differences" and said the question of gender "is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation."
The pope appeared to further hint at the issue in comments made Saturday during a meeting at the Vatican with participants from the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities and the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation.
During that meeting, Francis called for "giving a voice to women" and condemning violence and abuse against them, according to Vatican News -- the press arm of the Holy See.
Francis called on Catholics to reject discrimination against women, "'especially the most fragile economically, culturally, racially, and because of gender."
"We cannot remain silent in the face of this scourge of our times: the woman is used. They pay you less: and well, you are a woman. Then, woe betide you if you go with your belly, because if they see you pregnant, they don't give you the job, they send you home," Francis said.
"This is one of the ways they use in big cities today: discarding women, for example, with maternity. It is important to see this reality, it is a scourge."
Francis, who has pushed back against anti-gay laws in nations around the world, has previously said that students are being taught in school that "everyone can choose his or her sex."
"Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the people and institutions that give you money," Francis said in 2016. "These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this is terrible!"