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Ian West/PA Wire

Madonna says she wants to challenge the Pope on Jesus' view on abortion

by Cara Bentley

The US singer, 60, was speaking to Australian presenter Andrew Denton in an half-hour interview to promote her new album Madame X.

Talking about where she gets her fighting work ethic from, Madonna, who grew up a Catholic and was confirmed when she was 8, said she got it from the Catholic Church.

When asked why, then, she often critcises it, she replied: "Well, you always hurt the one you love, the thing you love."

Responding to a question about meeting the Pope and what she would say to him, she said: "One day he might invite me - I think this one might.

"I would say 'Lets talk about Jesus' point of view about women - let's talk about it, like, what do you really think he thought of women? Don't you think Jesus would agree that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body?'

"I think he would be open to having that conversation with me."

Madonna's music has often included Catholic themes and iconography, notably in 'Like A Prayer' with a burning cross, but her music and imagery has also been criticised for being blasphemous.

When asked why she keeps being drawn to Catholic imagery, she explained: "The idea of sacrifice, suffering, prayer, faith. There's something really extreme and dramatic about the idea that, you know, in any church you go into you see a man on a cross, practically naked, bleeding from his wounds and everyone genuflects and everyone prays to him. I find that so intriguing and poetic and sometimes sexual, sensual.

"In a way it's Pagan because people are worshipping a thing - and that's what Pagans did and that's what Christianity was against."

Madonna said her album was about how women can take on many roles. She explained that she feels like she is lots of different women: "I've felt nun-like and saint-like and I've felt like a student and I've been a teacher...I've lived the life of a nun, minus the habit."

"And the chastity..." the interviewer said.

"And the chastity, yes, although everyone goes through periods of time when they're not having sex, come on," Madonna added.

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