VATICAN CITY — 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."