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Aug 2, 2016 1:02 PM

Pope: It's 'terrible' children taught they can choose gender

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has lamented that children, as he puts it, are being taught at school that gender can be a choice.

Francis said: "Today, in schools they are teaching this to children -- to children! -- that everyone can choose their gender."

Without specifying, he blamed this on textbooks supplied by "persons and institutions who donate money."

Francis weighed in during a closed-door meeting last week with bishops from Poland during his pilgrimage there. The Vatican released a transcript Tuesday of those private remarks.

The pope blamed what he called "ideological colonizing" backed by "very influential countries" which he didn't identify.

One such "colonization" he said -- "I'll say it clearly with its first and last name -- is gender."

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