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Catholic priest gives Swiss sex lessons

Lyssandra Sears · 5 Apr 2012, 17:50

Published: 05 Apr 2012 15:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Apr 2012 17:50 GMT+02:00

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A Jesuit priest and a Catholic theologian are urging couples to expand their sexual horizons "beyond the usual quarter of an hour" at a series of sex courses in rural Switzerland.

The sex courses will be held at a multi-faith spiritual centre in Menzingen, canton Zug.

Titled “Space and time for more sensuality”, the three-day courses will be offered from May at the Lassalle-Haus, Jesuit priest Christian Rutishauser told newspaper Neue Luzerner Zeitung.

“The courses that we offer serve to develop the personality,” he said. “Spiritual and psychological aspects are also included.”

The aim of the course is to remind people that Catholic doctrine considers sex to be an expression of love and not just a functional act for making babies. 

“Until now, the Church has actually expressed particular prohibitions and set conditions for sex - in the form of marriage. It has said little about how sex can be active and positive,” the priest said.

The day-to-day running of the courses will be handled by 53-year-old Catholic theologian and sex therapist, Eugen Bütler.

After meditation and discussion sessions, the couples will be encouraged to disappear into separate rooms to practise what Bütler has preached.

This will help the course-goers “to get the spiritual and lustful dimensions of sexuality back on track,” Bütler said.

Bütler said he wants the participants “to go beyond the usual quarter-of-an-hour sex.”

The course will also explain that the desire by one member of a partnership to find a younger lover is really an expression of the need to feel more life, vitality and strength within the marriage.

“We must learn to see the fullness of life in old age,” Rutishauser told the newspaper.

While most religious establishments were unavailable for comment, Basel bishop Martin Gächter responded, saying he felt that there was a danger that sex would be torn from the family context, the Neue Luzerner Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

Bütler does not agree.

“The fact that sexuality is not only for babies but also for the strengthening of the partnership is something the Vatican Council itself has acknowledged,” Bütler said.

“That’s why the Catholic Church should have an interest in helping people to experience spiritual sexuality”.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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