While discussing intercourse, LGBT rights, and porn, Pope Francis described sex as “one of the beautiful things that God has given to the human person.”
The 86-year-old pontiff made the comment in the Disney+ documentary ‘The Pope: Answers’, which sees him in a meeting with ten people in their early 20s, captured last year in Rome.
Francis was quizzed by them on a variety of topics, including LGBT rights, abortion, the porn industry, sex, and faith and sex abuse within the Catholic Church.
‘Sex is one of the beautiful things that God has given to the human person,’ he said in the documentary.
‘To express yourself sexually is a richness. So anything that detracts from real sexual expression lessens you and depletes this richness,’ he said, referring to masturbation.
The film sees ten youngsters from across the globe meeting with Pope Francis, with the ‘aim of talking and conveying to him the main concerns of their generation’.
Francis was also asked whether he knew what a ‘non-binary person’ is, and he replied affirmatively.
He repeated that LGBT people must be welcomed by the Catholic Church.
‘All persons are the children of God, all persons. God does not reject anybody, God is a father. And I have no right to expel anyone from the Church,’ he said.
On abortion, Francis said priests should be ‘merciful’ towards women who have terminated a pregnancy, but said the practice remains unacceptable.
‘It good to call things by their name. It is one thing to accompany the person who had one (abortion), quite another to justify the act,’ he said.
The pope’s remarks were published by L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, which described his conversation with the young people as an ‘open and sincere dialogue’.
It comes after The Pope an intense four days in the lead up to Easter, renewing vows and urging priests to avoid fomenting division in the Church.
On Holy Thursday, Francis and dozens of cardinals and bishops, and some 1,880 priests, gathered in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, to renew the commitments they made on their ordination.
The Pope later travelled to the jail of Casal del Marmo on the outskirts of the city, where he washed and kissed the feet of 12 young inmates in a gesture meant to commemorate Jesus’ humility towards his apostles on the night before his death.
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