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Thursday, February 18, 1999 Published at 13:07 GMT


New millennium, new morals, says Cardinal Hume

Cardinal Basil Hume says sex should be not be separated from love

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Basil Hume, has called on society to embark on the new millennium as a fresh start to improve suffering moral standards.

Cardinal Basil Hume: "The aim should be to change minds and hearts"
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Cardinal Hume said he believed premarital sex, the breakdown of marriage and unstable families were among the problems leading to the disintegration of society.

Cardinal Hume also said society should stop its obsession with sex, in particular regarding pornography and the use of sex as a selling tool.

Sex, he said, should occur only within marriage and should not be separated from love.

"Sex is good, it is a gift from God and the human body is beautiful. It's all part of God's creation, and because these things are so precious, we need to treat them with great respect", he said.

Sex sells

Cardinal Hume said sex, which was biologically designed for procreation, has now become recreational and commercialised.

"After all, we use sex to advertise things, and all this encourages people, especially young people to get involved in sex at an age when surely they are not responsible.

"It leads to unwanted pregnancies and in my experience, leads to a great deal of unhappiness. We need to rethink the whole thing" he said.

Cardinal Hume also identified the protection and promotion of the family as essential to society's regeneration in the next millennium.

"I think it is absolutely proven, as far as I am concerned, that a stable society depends on stable families and this, I would think, on marriages which are going to persist and are going to work."

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