Elton John: Pope Francis is ‘my hero’ for his push to accept gays

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Sir Elton John has called Pope Francis “my hero” for his push to accept gay people in the Catholic Church.

The pop icon made the remarks as he hosted his annual AIDS charity fundraiser on Tuesday night in New York.

“He is a compassionate, loving man who wants everybody to be included in the love of God,” Sir Elton said of the Pope.

“It is formidable what he is trying to do against many, many people in the Church.

“He is courageous and he is fearless, and that’s what we need in the world today.”

Sir Elton told the crowd: “Make this man a saint now, OK?”

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gay people earlier this month, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

An earlier draft of the document offered a welcoming tone of acceptance, but that was stripped away.

Speaking to reporters in July last year, Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society.

In March, Pope Francis declared: “matrimony is between a man and a woman”.

Last weekend, Sir Elton John urged the LGBT community to redouble its efforts to curb growing HIV transmission in an address to the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest LGBT rights organisation.