During a visit this weekend to the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Pope Francis denounced the so-called “gender theory,” calling it a form of “indoctrination.”

Francis called it “the great enemy of marriage,” adding that “the whole world is at war trying to destroy marriage,” according to the AP.

Speaking to reporters on the plane ride to Rome, Francis expanded on his remarks, saying there is a distinction between ministering to transgender people and school “indoctrination” of children into believing they can pick their gender.

“It is one thing if a person has this tendency and also changes sex. It's another thing to teach this in school to change mentalities. This is what I call 'ideological colonization,'” Francis said.

“These people must be accompanied as Jesus accompanied them,” he said of transgender people.

“I've never abandoned them. When someone who has this condition comes before Jesus, Jesus would surely never say 'go away because you're gay,'” he added.

“It's a problem of morality,” Francis said of transgender Catholics. “It's a human problem. And it must be resolved as it can be. But always with the mercy of God, within the truth.”

He added that Jesus would “welcome, accompany, discern and integrate them” into the church.

Francis ended his remarks by asking the reporters: “Please don't write, 'The pope blesses trans.' Please.”