A controversial new book is encouraging married Catholics to make love more often in an effort to offset "impotence and frigidity" and address papal concerns over declining birth-rates among Italian Catholics, reported The London Telegraph.
“It's A Sin Not To Do It,” is written by Italian theologians Roberto Beretta and Elisabetta Broli, who also write regularly for the Italian bishops' magazine, Avvenire.
Bullet points on the jacket cover underline the central message: "Sex? God invented it. Original sin? Sex has nothing to do with it. Without sex there is no real marriage."
"When people think of the Church and sex, they think of prohibitions and taboos," Beretta told the Telegraph. "But there is a very different and positive side to Church doctrine which needs to be emphasized."
The book includes passages from papal statements on sexuality, and pronouncements from cardinals who advocate a "healthy Catholic materialism" about marital sex.
Beretta told The Telegraph: "The Church is not against sex. … In view of the trivialisation of sex and the rise of impotence and frigidity in consequence, as well as the increasing number of only children, it is better for the Church to promote sex in the right circumstances, instead of just focusing on prohibitions and perversions."
“It's A Sin Not To Do It” also features an interview with Ersilio Cardinal Tonini, who emphasizes that "the Church is not an enemy of the flesh." He says Catholic doctrine has always defended the "nobility of sexuality," and considered it as a "treasure" of humanity.
"Some people might find [the book] a little direct,” said Beretta. “But at least after reading this book, they will have a balanced picture of what the Church actually thinks about sex."