Sex not just for pleasure, warns new Vatican manual

Josephine McKenna

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Sex should be focused on love, not egotism or pleasure, according to the Vatican.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family is sharing its latest views on sexuality in a manual titled "The Meeting Place," which is aimed at young people and was presented at World Youth Day in Krakow in July.

According to Italian daily La Repubblica, the manual stresses that sexuality should be “ordered” and sexual relations should not be about individualism, hedonism or materialism.

"Autoeroticism or masturbation do not help people to leave themselves and move towards another," the document says, according to La Repubblica. "Sexuality is not only for pleasure."

The newspaper noted that premarital sex and casual sex are also unacceptable in the Vatican's sex education guide, given to young people after the April release of Pope Francis’ exhortation on the family, "Amoris Laetitia" ("The Joy of Love").

The manual “follows the line indicated by Francis, where sex education is a part of a more comprehensive picture of education to love and mutual self-giving,” said Msgr. Carlos Simon Vazquez, undersecretary of the Vatican department, in a statement released at the time.

Films including "Batman" and "Superman" are referenced in the manual to illustrate the value of moral choices and righteousness, La Repubblica said.

Developed with the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, the guide is being promoted by the Vatican through multimedia, including YouTube, in five languages -- English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese.

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