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Pope Francis Tells Couples Not To Have Sex Before Marriage

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Pope Francis Tells Couples Not To Have Sex Before Marriage

Pope Francis has offered up new guidelines over the sanctity of marriage, suggesting couples should avoid having sex before they’ve tied the knot.  

A new 97-page document titled ‘Catechumenal Itineraries for Married Life’ was released last week by the Holy See, the jurisdiction of the Pope, where it addresses the rising number of null or failed marriages. 

The guidelines state, via Vatican News: “Marriage failures bring with them great suffering and leave deep wounds in people. 

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“They become disillusioned, bitter and, in the most painful cases, even end up no longer believing in the vocation to love, inscribed by God Himself in the heart of the human being.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Taking a rather outdated approach to sex and relationships, the Catholic Church-led document praises ‘the precious virtue of chastity’ despite it being in what is described as ‘direct contrast with common mentality’. 

It continues: “It is worth helping young spouses to be able to find the time to deepen their friendship and to accept God’s grace.

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“Premarital chastity certainly favours this course.”

It’ll come as no surprise that the document has come under fire for its lack of applicability to the modern world. 

Italian theologian Vito Mancuso told The Telegraph that sex is a vital part of a couple getting to know each other before getting hitched, adding: “To exclude it, as Catholic doctrine has always done, is a grave ethical error.” 

What’s more, the guidelines go against Pope Francis’ previous standpoint on the matter, having said last year that sex outside of marriage is 'not the most serious' sin.

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Mancuso said the latest release from the Vatican demonstrated ‘the Catholic Church’s inability to understand sexuality’, and ‘in this, Pope Francis is no different from his predecessors’. 

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

Another theologian named Father Alberto Maggi told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “Documents like this… are a step backwards.”

“[The Catholic Church] should listen more to the reality of young people today, of how they live, before reissuing the doctrine they have always proposed.”

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Speaking in defence of the Vatican, Catholic Church expert Austen Ivereigh said to The Telegraph: "This is not a prohibition or a new rule. They are inviting people to follow this path.

"They know it goes against the grain of society. The Church understands that nowadays most people cohabit and have sex before getting married.

“The idea is for couples to have time to develop all the elements that are crucial for marriage such as patience and communication.”

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Sex and Relationships, Pope Francis

Daisy Phillipson
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