It was early in his pontificate, on a return flight from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, that Pope Francis famously responded to a question about homosexuality in the priesthood with "who am I to judge?"
In some ways, the question became a lens through which his pontificate is often viewed, especially in the media.
Since 2013, the "who-am-I-to-judge Pope" has spoken out frequently on the need to be more welcoming of people with homosexual orientation, and has insisted on the need to use language reflecting welcome, rather than a closed door.
During his September 2015 visit to the United States, images of Pope Francis hugging a gay man circulated on the internet after he met with the man and his partner in Washington D.C. The man was a former student who had written to ask for a meeting, and the Pope accepted.
And while Pope Francis' approach to homosexuality has been depicted by some as a deviation from the Church's doctrine, and hailed by others as a step in the right direction, his speech to E.U. leaders is a reminder that he aims to promote a worldview guided by Catholic doctrine, rather than contradicting it.
A Catholic Worldview
Looking back throughout Francis' pontificate, his speech on Saturday was the latest among dozens of times he has spoken on behalf of the role of the traditional family, the sacredness of human life, or the Church's teaching on sexuality in the public square.
Some of these occasions, just to name a few, are as follows:
1. In a 2014 audience with members of the German-born, international Schoenstatt movement marking the 100th anniversary of their founding, Pope Francis said the family, in the Christian understanding, was being attacked.
"The family is being hit, the family is being struck and the family is being bastardized," he said, noting that in the modern context, "you can call everything family, right?"
He said contemporary society has "devalued" the sacrament of marriage by turning it into a social rite and removing the most essential element, which is union with God. "So many families are divided, so many marriages broken," he said, adding that frequently, there is "such relativism in the concept of the sacrament of marriage."
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2. On the flight back from his trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan a year ago, in October 2016, the Pope was asked about the possibility of biological roots to homosexuality and transgender identities.
Pope Francis said that those who struggle with sexuality and gender identity must be "accompanied as Jesus accompanies them," and Jesus "surely doesn't tell them 'go away because you are homosexual,'" he said.
But Francis also pointed to the "wickedness which today is done in the indoctrination of gender theory" that is now frequently being taught in schools, and which he said "is against the (nature of) things."
Pastoral accompaniment "is what Jesus would do today," he said, but asked journalists to "please don't say: 'the Pope sanctifies transgenders.'...Because I see the covers of the papers." Gender theory, he said, is "a moral problem. It's a human problem and it must be resolved...with the mercy of God, with the truth."
During the same trip, the Pope gave a lengthy, off-the-cuff speech to priests, seminarians and pastoral workers in which he said "the whole world is at war trying to destroy marriage," not so much with weapons, "but with ideas...(there are) certain ideologies that destroy marriage. So we need to defend ourselves from ideological colonization."
3. In his environmental encyclical Laudato Si, published in June 2015, Pope Francis condemned abortion, population control and transgenderism.