Pope Francis says sex is a ‘beautiful thing’ and it’s ‘normal’ to meet people on Tinder

‘Sex is one of the beautiful things that God has given to the human person’ the Pope says in a new documentary

Meredith Clark
New York
Saturday 08 April 2023 11:32 BST
Pope Francis in hospital: What is happening?

Pope Francis has praised sex as a “beautiful thing” and said that meeting romantic partners on dating apps is “normal” in a new documentary.

In the Disney+ documentary The Pope: Answers, which was released on 5 April, the 86-year-old pontiff shared his thoughts on a variety of topics such as sex, masturbation, racism, migration, abortion, and the LGBTQ+ community. The Spanish-speaking documentary was filmed in June 2022 during the Pope’s “open dialogue” with 10 young adults in Rome.

“Sex is one of the beautiful things that God has given to the human person,” he said in the documentary.

During a conversation about pornography and masturbation, the Pope said those who use pornography debase themselves.

“Those who are addicted to pornography are like being addicted to a drug that keeps them at a level that does not let them grow,” he said. “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.”

Pope Francis was also asked by the group what he thought about young people meeting romantic partners on Tinder.

“It’s normal,” he said. “Young people have that eagerness to meet each other, and that’s very good.”

In conversation with a young adult named Celia, who identified as non-binary, the Pope was asked whether there was room in the church for nonbinary people and the LGBTQ+ community. He responded that LGBTQ+ people must be welcomed by the Catholic Church.

“Every person is a child of God, every person,” he said. “God does not reject anyone, God is Father. And I have no right to expel anyone from the Church. Not only that, my duty is always to welcome. The Church cannot close the door to anyone. To no one.”

The Pope also criticised members of the church who use the Bible to promote hate speech against gay or transgender people, adding that these members “are infiltrators who take advantage of the Church for their personal passions, for their personal narrowness. It is one of the corruptions of the Church.”

As for his thoughts on abortion, the pontiff suggested that priests must “be merciful” towards women who have terminated a pregnancy. However, he maintained that the practice remains unacceptable.

“It is good to call things by their name,” he said. “It is one thing to accompany the person who had one (abortion), quite another to justify the act.”

Pope Francis has often been hailed for his more progressive views on the LGBTQ+ community compared to some of his predecessors. Earlier this year, the Pope criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality as “unjust” and reaffirmed that homosexuality is not a crime.

“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview with The Associated Press in January. “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin.” The pontiff also called on Catholic bishops to welcome LGBTQ+ people into the church, saying, “These bishops have to have a process of conversion.”

In 2020, Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions. “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” he said in the documentary Francesco. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in