Pope Francis has told couples not to have sex before marriage in a new Vatican guide which explains what the church views as requirements for a successful union.
The leader of the Catholic Church argues in the preface of the new document for priests and dioceses working with engaged couples that ‘chastity teaches the timing and the method of true love’.
He also claims that modern unions ‘fall apart’ quickly and chaste couples are able to learn how to be together without the pressure of sexual relationships.
This teaching also helps when couples are older, Pope Francis adds, explaining it helps them in sexless periods late in life and should apply even if engaged couples are living together.
The 97-page document, published on Tuesday, and called the Catechumenal Itineraries for Married Life ‘is a gift and it is a task’, the Catholic Church’s leader said.