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Good News: Pope Francis Thinks Sex Is a ‘Gift From God’

Vatican Media/Getty Images
Vatican Media/Getty Images

Pope Francis said in a Wednesday sermon at the Vatican that sexual pleasure is a “gift from God” that should be “disciplined with patience.” As part of a series of sermons on vices and virtues, the pontiff warned his audience against the “demon of lust,” which could lead, in his words, to toxic relationships and addiction to porn. “Daily news is enough to document this reality,” the pope said. “How many relationships that started out in the best way have later become toxic relationships?” His comments came just days after his new head of doctrine, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, was criticized for a book he wrote decades ago, titled Mystical Passion: Spirituality and Sensuality. The book, now out-of-print, included detailed descriptions of male and female orgasms which conservative critics called “perverse.” Cardinal Fernández and Pope Francis are no strangers to criticism over attitudes toward sex; in December, Fernández introduced guidelines for priests to bless same-sex couples, whose relationships are still considered sinful in the church. One cardinal, who served as head of doctrine under Pope Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI, slammed the document in a lengthy post online. “According to the criterion of this type of blessings, one could even bless an abortion clinic or a mafia group,” he wrote.

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