The Archbishop of Westminster has criticised governments that "mistakenly" promote pre-marital sex as a pattern of behaviour "to be approved and even encouraged among the young".
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, preaching at Midnight Mass, cited various
examples of ways in which people needed to be purified in order to
"become partners with God".
In his homily he reflected on the meaning of the incarnation, saying
it enabled work and human love to be seen as a taking part in the
creativity and creative love of God.
However he cautioned against various practices that fell short of the
standards he said God was looking for.
He cited charity motivated by
self-interest, exploitative patterns of business, as well as sexual
expression "without the public bond of the faithfulness of marriage and
its ordering to new life".
He went on: "Even governments mistakenly
promote such patterns of sexual intimacy as objectively to be approved
and even encouraged among the young."