Vatican City • Pope Francis has told French young people that sex is a “great” gift from God, not a taboo, and should be lived as a lifelong, passionate love between man and woman.

Francis urged the group of young Catholics from the Grenoble diocese to protect their sexuality from pornography and other temptations that separate sex from love.

He acknowledged people “fall” and commit sin — but said “this isn’t the sexuality of love.”

He said: “Sex is a gift of God. Not a taboo” and has two aims: to show love, and create life.

Church teaching forbids premarital sex and reserves intercourse for husband and wife. The church also opposes artificial birth control.