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Elton John "would love" to meet Pope Francis

by Aaron James

Elton John made the comment on the Today programme on Thursday while talking about his work with the US government in tackling AIDs in Africa.

He claimed that some African government were denying medication to people because of their sexuality, and that the Catholic Church was in part reinforcing this by voting at its recent Synod to oppose international bodies pressuring countries to introduce same-sex marriage, in return for aid money.

The musician has contributed $10m towards providing medicine for people suffering from HIV/AIDS in Africa in his recent partnership with US authorities.

The Candle in the Wind singer, 68, said: "My sly bet is yes he is [in favour of helping these people]. He's just had the [Synod] in Rome and I think he's fighting an uphill battle against the African cardinals and bishops."

"Keep going, keep pushing it. Change is very hard, especially in the Catholic Church, you don't get things done immediately, you're not going to persuade people, just keep going and keep going and eventually the wall will fall. I think he's on our side."

"I would love to meet him. I'm not a Catholic but from the first day he was elected he tried to bring a new message and change the Church and bring it into the 21st century. To be a inclusive Church. He has brought hope and change.

"He's a man that passionately believes that this is a good message to bring, that people should be included, nobody should be ostracised and not given from the disease that they need to be treated for."

Elton John has previously called Pope Francis his 'hero'.

The pontiff has said the Catholic Church has no intention of departing from a traditional view of sex and marriage, however it must be more loving and inclusive towards gay people.

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