Though some have lauded Pope Francis for his comments on gay people, asking "who am I to judge" about gay priests in 2013, the pontiff is raising eyebrows this week after commenting on transgender people and saying they should accept the body God gave them, according to the Catholic News Agency.
"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, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation," the pope wrote in his environmental encyclical on Thursday. "Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology."
Francis, 78, was also recently praised by environmentalists over the 184-page papal letter, called "Laudato Si" (Praise Be), urging "every person on the planet" to fight against climate change and "global environmental deterioration."
In his letter, the pope quoted his predecessor, Benedict XVI, saying there's an "ecology of man" because "man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will."
Gay Star News reports, the pontiff compared trans people to nuclear weapons earlier this year, saying both do not "recognize the order of creation."
Nevertheless, Pope Francis will make history next month, becoming the first leader of the Catholic Church to meet with an LGBT rights activist.