It can't be denied that sex and modern dating have been some of today's controversial topics the Catholic church has yet to delve into deeply. Still and all, Pope Francis recently stressed that sex is a "beautiful thing" and that using dating apps to spark new relationships is completely "normal."
The 86-year-old pontiff shared these views as he appeared in the Disney+ documentary The Pope: Answers. His thoughts on the sensitive subject matter come as no surprise, considering he is often hailed as a progressive leader with liberal opinions on homosexuality, reproductive rights, and the role of women.
In the documentary, Francis participated in a discussion with a group of people composed of Catholics, Christians, atheists, agnostics, and one Muslim, all aged 20 to 25 years old. It touched on society's issues today, ranging from sex, masturbation, the church’s sexual abuse crisis, racism, and abortion.
At one point, a woman named Alejandra led the dialogue to pornography and masturbation, and Francis compared using pornography to being "addicted to a drug that keeps [people] at a level that does not let them grow."
"To express oneself sexually is something rich. Anything that diminishes a true sexual expression diminishes you as well, it renders you partial, and it diminishes that richness. Sex has a dynamic of its own. It exists for a reason. It’s an expression of love," he said
He further highlighted that "sex is one of the beautiful things God gave to human beings."
Now that society is living in the digital age, it has become a norm for people to start relationships using dating apps. Francis, apparently, has no problem with that.
"It’s normal," he said when asked about his opinion on those who meet romantic partners on Tinder. "Young people have that eagerness to meet each other, and that’s very good."
When it comes to other controversial issues such as abortion, Francis shared that he has urged priests to "not ask many questions" and "be merciful" towards women who have decided to undergo terminations, but underscored that abortion must still be considered "scientifically, and with a certain coldness."
The Catholic head also shared his thoughts on the LGBTQ+ community, a topic that he has shared the most progressive views on as he previously called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples and argued against laws that criminalize homosexuality.
"The church cannot close its doors on anybody. I don’t have the right to cast anyone out from the church. My job is to receive, always," Francis said towards a nonbinary person who asked if the church can accept queer people in general.
The pope recently made headlines when he was hospitalized because of a respiratory infection. He has now left the hospital after a three-night stay for bronchitis and thanked everyone who sent him well wishes during his mass on Palm Sunday.