POPE FRANCIS has urged followers of the Catholic faith to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, including food and sexual intercourse.
He says they're "divine" pleasures given to us by God which have unjustly fallen victim to "overzealousness".
In a book of interviews published on Wednesday, Francis says: "Pleasure arrives directly from God, it is neither Catholic, nor Christian, nor anything else, it is simply divine".
"The Church has condemned inhuman, brutish, vulgar pleasure, but has on the other hand always accepted human, simple, moral pleasure," he added.
The Pontiff went on to say that there was no place for an "overzealous morality" that denies oneself of pleasure, and that this was something the Church had been guilty of encouraging in the past.
He insisted that this was "a wrong interpretation of the Christian message".
"The pleasure of eating is there to keep you healthy by eating, just like sexual pleasure is there to make love more beautiful and guarantee the perpetuation of the species.
"The pleasure of eating and sexual pleasure comes from God," he added.