A screenshot of an article from La Nacion in Buenos Aires, Argentina, showing Pope Francis being interviewed a few days ago by the paper’s Vatican correspondent, Elizabeth Piqué (link). The Spanish subtitle under the image is citing what the Pope is saying: “Gender ideology, at this time, is one of the ideological colonizations (that is) most dangerous.” But Francis does more in this interview: he also links the ideology of gender, which he opposes because it blurs, and so diminishes, the beauty of the differences between men and women, with… the coming of the Antichrist, “one leader for the whole world” (see his remarks on this below)

    Gender ideology, at this time, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations…. Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences, and the value of men and women and of all humanity is the tension of differences.” —Pope Francis, in a new interview (link and link — these two links are to two different parts of the interview, and to the text in Spanish) on the 10th anniversary of his election as Pope. In this interview, Francis recalls reading with interest the book Lord of the World (2007) by the British convert Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, and says he feels that what is happening in our time, also in the matter of the “gender ideology,” was envisioned in Benson’s book 120 years ago

    The question of gender is diluting the differences and creating an equal world, all blunt, all the same. And that goes against the human vocation.” —Ibid.

    It [Robert Hugh Benson’s book Lord of the World, 1907] describes a future in which differences are disappearing and everything is the same, everything is uniform, a single leader of the whole world.” —Pope Francis, in the same interview, explaining why he found Lord of the World, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s 1907 novel, so compelling, prophetic, and revelatory. In so doing, Francis is quite clearly connecting the ideology of gender — which he opposes, he says, “because it blurs differences” — with a time at the end of history when a figure who is a type of the Antichrist (in Benson’s novel), emerges to take sole power in the world. In other words, Francis, by directly linking (1) his opposition to a gender ideology which blurs differences between men and women with (2) Benson’s description of the arrival of the Antichrist as “one leader of the world,” is suggesting that this present global phenomena of gender ideology is not only profoundly dangerous and in contradiction to “the human vocation” (so, anti-human, or anti-what is best and most precious about being human) but also, in some way, may be a sign of… the coming of the age of the Antichrist. Francis says this quite explicitly: 1) “gender ideology… is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” 2) “because it dilutes differences” 3) which are “the richness of men and women and of all humanity” and 4) “I read about this type of future many years ago in a book The Lord of the Earth or The Lord of the World of Benson” [he says the words in English, though the interview is in Spanish; this is quite striking; just click on the video at this link and you will hear him speak in English at second :24], and then 5) the sentence cited above: It describes a future in which differences are disappearing and everything is the same, everything is uniform, a single leader of the whole world[that is, a single leader who is against Christ and His Church, and so is… the Antichrist]

    Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that Antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour.” —First Letter of John 2:18


    Letter #70, 2023 Monday, March 13: Francis    

    The 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis to the papacy on March 13, 2013, is today.

    Francis has now been Pope for 10 years (he was officially installed a few days later, on March 19, 2013, Feast of St. Joseph).

    In order to give a relatively brief, general, overall look at his pontificate during these 10 years, the Pope agreed to give an interview to an Argentine journalist named Elizabeth Piqué, a person he has known and trusted for years.

    She wrote a long, detailed book about Francis entitled Pope Francis: Life and Revolution, just after he was elected in 2013 (it was published in English on January 2, 2015).

    And Elizabeth is the wife of another journalist Francis highly values, Gerard O’Connell (link), the correspondent for America magazine in Rome (in fact, O’Connell and I arrived in Rome at about the same time, in 1984/1985, and have been colleagues in covering the Holy See since that time, for almost 40 years).

    Pope Francis, therefore, must have felt rather “at ease” in speaking with Elizabeth Piqué — able to speak frankly.

    And he did speak frankly.

    Especially on the topic of “gender theory.”

    He uses the expression “gender ideology” to speak of “gender theory,” which reveals that Francis sees “gender theory” from the outset as something emerging from the “first world” and then spread by various means (a type of “ideological colonization”) to the “third world,” to the world that was once colonized by the various European powers.

    And what Francis says about “gender ideology” in this interview is now being cited worldwide by the press because Francis says “gender ideology” is one of the “most dangerous” of the “ideological colonizations” spreading, due to strong support by the present world elites, to every corner of the world (link and link and link)

    So I felt it important that readers be made aware of this interview, and of this judgment by Pope Francis regarding “gender ideology.”

    For Pope Francis‘ courage, precisely on the 10th anniversary of his election as Pope, in making such a “counter-cultural” declaration (as also for his continuing “counter-cultural” calls for peace in Ukraine), and not forgetting other statements, and decisions, which have puzzled, even confounded, many more “traditional” Catholics, he deserves our thanks, praise and support.

    Thank you for what you said in this interview, Pope Francis, for defending the value and beauty of the human vocation in all its beauty and grandeur.—RM


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    Here is the March 11 CNA article by Courtney Mares about the interview given by Pope Francis recently to Argentine journalist Elizabeth Piqué.

    Pope Francis: Gender Ideology is ‘One of the Most Dangerous Ideological Colonizations’ Today (link)

    By Courtney Mares/CNA

    March 11, 2023

    “All humanity is the tension of differences. It is to grow through the tension of differences. 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.” —Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has said that gender ideology is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” today.

    In an interview with journalist Elisabetta Piqué for the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación, Pope Francis explained the reasoning behind his strong statement.

    “Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” Francis said in the interview published on the evening of March 10.

    “Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women,” he added.

    “All humanity is (marked by) the tension of differences. It is to grow through the tension of differences. 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.”

    Pope Francis has frequently used the term “ideological colonization” throughout the 10 years of his pontificate, particularly to describe instances when aid money for developing countries has been tied to contraceptives, abortion, sterilization, and gender ideologies.

    In a conversation with Polish bishops in 2016, Pope Francis said: “Today children — children — are 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. These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this is terrible!”

    The Pope told Piqué that he was not currently writing a new encyclical and denied that he had been asked to write a document on the subject of gender.

    While he is not writing something on gender ideology, the Pope said that he talks about the subject “because some people are a bit naive and believe that it is the way to progress.”

    He said that they “do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or diverse sexual preferences from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it eliminates differences, and that erases humanity, the richness of humanity, both personal, cultural, and social, the diversities and the tensions between differences.”

    The Pope noted that he always distinguishes “between what pastoral care is for people who have a different sexual orientation and what gender ideology is.”

    “They are two different things,” he added.

    When Piqué asked Pope Francis if he knew that in Argentina people are asked to indicate on official forms if they are male, female, or non-binary sex, the pope said that it reminded him of the “futuristic” novel, Lord of the World, written by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson in 1907.

    He said that the book presents the idea of “a future in which differences are disappearing and everything is the same, everything is uniform, a single leader of the whole world.”

    In the interview with La Nación — the third papal interview published on March 10 — Pope Francis also reflected on the 10 years of his pontificate, his concern for the war in Ukraine, and why he has not traveled to his native Argentina.

    Days ahead of the 10th anniversary of his pontificate on March 13, the Pope said that he was especially happy about the legacy of his “pastoral line of forgiveness and understanding of the people, to make room in the Church for everyone.”

    Asked to identify any mistakes he might have made in the past 10 years, the Pope regretted times when he had lost his patience.

    “More than once. It did not appear in the newspapers, but more than once,” he added with a laugh.

    [End Mares March 11 CNA article]

    And here are excerpts from the interview of Pope Francis by Argentine journalist Elizabeth Piqué published on March 10 in the Buenos Aires daily La Nacion, in our own (unofficial and in some cases imperfect) English translation from the original Spanish.

     Interview with Pope Francis: “Gender ideology is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” (link)

    In a dialogue of almost an hour, the Pontiff expressed his joy at giving “place to everyone in the Church,” but he spoke out against gender ideology; he was also pleased with the changes in the Roman Curia

    By Elisabetta Pique, Correspondent in Italy

    March 10, 2023

    ROME.- During the interview with LA NACION, in which he said that what made him happiest in these 10 years was “giving place to everyone in the Church,” when asked if he was writing a new encyclical, the Pope said no. He also denied that he had been asked to write a document on the subject of gender. In this regard, he considered an anthropology of gender “extremely dangerous” “because it annuls differences and that annuls humanity,” which he distinguished from a pastoral care with people of diverse sexual orientation.

    On the other hand, he said he was unaware of the scandal that broke out this week in Poland, where a documentary and a book accused St. John Paul II of having covered up a pedophile priest, while he was Archbishop of Krakow.

    Are you working on a new encyclical or important document?


    -Is it true that you had been asked to write a document on the subject of gender?

    -No, no one asked me for a document. Yes, clarifications. I always distinguish between what pastoral care is for people who have a different sexual orientation and what gender ideology is. They are two different things. Gender ideology, at this time, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations. It goes beyond the sexual. Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences, and the value of men and women and of all humanity is the tension of differences. It is growing through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and creating an equal world, all blunt, all the same. And that goes against the human vocation.

    -Do you know that in Argentina, the last time I was there, you have to fill out a form that says male, female or non-binary sex?

    -The futuristic experience that I had many years ago about this was when I read a novel that I always recommend, The Lord of the World (Lord of the World), by [Monsignor Robert Hugh] Benson, written in 1907. It seems very modern. A little heavy in the middle, some chapters, but it’s very good. It describes a future in which differences are disappearing and everything is the same, everything is uniform, a single leader of the whole world. A futuristic prophet. And there I was finding the true tendency to decrease the differences. The precious treasures of humanity has are its differences, cultural…

    -But in the end it was not clear to me, did they ask you to write something about the gender issue?

    -No, no, no. I talk about it. I speak because there are somewhat naive people who believe that it is the path of progress and do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or various sexual options from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it annuls differences, it annuls humanity, the richness of humanity, personal type, as cultural and social, the differences, and the tensions between the differences.

    -In fact, you always talk about the polyhedron.


    -In some interviews you admitted to having made mistakes in these 10 years. Could you identify one or two?

    -I would say what is the leitmotif that is under any error. A little impatience, no? Sometimes the tuco goes to my head [the word “tuco” has various meanings, but can can mean “strong” or “fearless”]. Then one loses patience, and when calm is lost, one slips and makes mistakes. You have to know how to wait, the processes… you have to know how to wait for them…

    -And when did you lose patience?

    -More than once. It did not appear in the newspapers, but more than once. You want to strangle (laughs)… but don’t worry, we walk slowly and these processes will slowly take place.

    -Is there anything you did in these 10 years as Pope that has made you especially happy?

    -Everything that was the pastoral line of forgiveness and understanding of the people. Give place in the Church to all.

    -What is your dream today? Do you have any dreams?

    -I am very realistic, I like to touch things, the realities [laughter]… The desire to swim forward, open doors. Opening doors, that works for me a lot. Open doors and walk paths.

    -How do you imagine the Catholic Church in 20 years?

    -If this question had been asked to anyone who worked with St. Paul VI, they would have been wrong in the answer. I’m going to be wrong. No, [I imagine it] more pastoral, fairer, more open. I can’t say anything else, I don’t know why. It is curious, history changes the faces of situations and puts them to you in a different way, and evangelization goes in a different way. My thing is the always open horizon and living today too. There is a vision that one can say is the guiding line, which is what the conciliar documents, the documents of the episcopates, show us, that we must follow this path. Now, expressing what that is concretely, is difficult.

    -Ten years have passed, does it seem the election was yesterday? Did the 10 years go by quickly? Slowly? How does it feel?

    -They have passed quickly, like all life. I think my things. Today I was talking about my high school, that (high school) seems like yesterday. Curious how yesterday gets shorter and it seems like it was yesterday. And these went by fast.

    -I know you don’t like balance sheets, but looking back, do you feel you have met your goals? As you have said many times that many of the mandates of the pre-conclave meetings were for the new Pope to clean up the Vatican’s finances, to bring order to the curia after some scandals… Did you meet those objectives?

    – I started to meet them. For example, in the economic part I want to pay tribute to the man who helped me, Cardinal (George) Pell, a great man. Unfortunately he had that problem that he was found innocent of afterwards. But he had to suffer a year and two months in prison being innocent and he could not continue. But it was Cardinal Pell who started the economic reform, and I am very grateful to him.

    -And the reform of the Curia?

    – The dicasteries were re-ordered and the college of cardinals itself is now freer.

    -In your programmatic document, Evangelii Gaudium, you spoke of the “conversion of the papacy”… Do you feel that you made this conversion? You do not embody the “King Pope,” you are a Pope without frills, a closer, more open and humble Pope. What other change would you make of the papacy?

    -I would say that the conversion of the papacy did not begin with me. If one wanted to mark sectors in this last stage, it began with Paul VI, who was the first to travel, for example. His is a conversion of the Ministry of Peter, a man who received the inheritance of all the previous ones and received the end of the Council and set it in motion. A great man, a saint. If we talk about the most modern papacy today with new ways of being, St. Paul VI is the first. And there he began, with his nuances, to one side and to the other, he went forward.

    St. John Paul II, the great evangelizer.

    John Paul I… the little (time) that we were able to enjoy him, the close pastor who wanted to put an end to certain things that were not going well.

    And Benedict has a wide range in his teaching, a brave man. He was the first Pope to officially address the issue of abuse. A great theologian, but he was going down the line. I miss Benedict because he was a companion.

    -You were just talking about John Paul II and the abuses… I don’t know if you know that just this week a tremendous scandal broke out in Poland because they showed a documentary where a document appears, a letter that he wrote to Cardinal Wojtyła when he was a cardinal of Krakow from Vienna, König, if he could receive a priest, who was finally an abuser and there is a whole scandal in Poland about this. A book also came out… My question is, was he canonized too quickly?

    -You have to put things back into their time. Anachronism always does evil. At that time everything was covered up. Until the Boston scandal, everything was covered up. When the Boston thing happened, the Church began to look at that problem. The Church was always very faithful from that moment in clarifying things.


    Thank God that Benedict was the first to uncover the matter of the Legionaires. He was brave. Today the Church took this (new attitude). After the Boston scandal, the Church began to take this new attitude… Taking the bull by the horns.


    -It could be said that in these 10 years you recovered “lost sheep,” since many had distanced themselves from the Church, who returned with you, a different Pope… but at the same time you put the “perfect Catholics” who remained in crisis, feeling out of place, like the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son…

    -That always happens. It always happens. A key word of Jesus is “everyone.” For me this is the key to pastoral openness. Everyone inside the house. It’s a mess, but everyone inside the house.

    -Before being elected Pope, it was known that you did not like to come to Rom, or came as little as possible, because you saw it as a complex place, filled with internal intrigues. Ten years later, from what we saw after the death of Benedict XVI and the books, do the intrigues still exist, or has something changed?

    -There are always some left, but it’s not the environment… I didn’t change it, it was the story itself that changes. In the preparatory meetings of the cardinals is everything that was done afterwards. It was the cardinals themselves who said “over here, over here, over here.” That is the beautiful thing, that it is the College of Cardinals itself that set the course. I just carried out what they called for. Interesting.

    -Do you feel that you have a lot of resistance and enemies? And why do you think there is opposition to that vision of the Church that you have just mentioned, open to all, inclusive, a Church that you defined at the beginning with such a good image, as a field hospital to treat today’s wounded?

    -Opposition will always be, everywhere. In the face of any progress, any change… Jesus had enough opposition. He doesn’t compare huh. But there will always be opposition. Jesus did not want to dialogue with the four parties of his time. He talked, but he did not follow their project, he did his own. He was neither a Pharisee, nor a Sadducee, nor an Essene, nor a Zealot. He was himself. Because he brought this message: here one does not have to join any political party, ecclesiastical group. The freedom of the Holy Spirit, listening to the consultations, to the people, consulting and seeking the will of God.

    -You always talk about processes, set in motion, that you have initiated. Do you think there is any unfinished matter, something that you would have liked to see completed?

    It didn’t occur to me to think so. I like processes and not evaluations. Curious, I don’t like to evaluate, I don’t know how to do it either. The processes do, because I like to move forward. But never what is left behind, and many things must remain, it is not true. Typical case, for example, that of seminaries. A review of the seminaries is needed, in fact visits are being made, to find a way to regulate the training of future priests. Something is being done, it is in progress. And there are others.

    -The synod on synodality in progress is the great bet of this moment, right?

    -Well, speaking in soccer terms, the one who kicked the ball for the first time was Paul VI. At the end of the Council, Paul VI realized that the Church in the West had lost the synodal dimension. The Church of the East maintains it. He then created the secretariat for the synod of bishops, which met every four years. I had to participate in two. There a decision-making process was maturing that was not the one that existed before, much more complementary. Some 10 years ago a serious reflection was made and a document was made, I signed it, with the theologians, with me, it was a community thing. That marked “we have come this far, now something else is missing.” And we did not make explicit what was missing, but it was marked by itself, which was to make the synodality explicit. For example, it was already accepted by all that women could not vote. So, in the synod for the Amazon region, it was asked, why can’t women vote? Are they second-rate Christians? In other words, they were posing more and more serious problems to improve themselves.

    -And now are you going to vote for just one or all of them?

    -Everyone who participates in the synod will vote. Whoever is invited or is an observer will not vote. Whoever participates in a synod has the right to vote, whether male or female. Everyone, everyone. That word “everyone” for me is key.

    -You did not answer the question about whether it (the synodal way) is the great bet of this moment…

    I don’t know, it’s a step we have to take. That is clear.

    [End Pique interview]

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