Elton John has described Pope Francis as a “hero” for his work in getting the Roman Catholic Church to accept gay people.
John hosted an event for his Aids charity on Tuesday night in New York, during which he said the Pope was “pushing boundaries in the Church” and told the crowd: “Make this man a saint now.”
He said: “10 years ago one of the biggest obstacles in the fight against Aids was the Catholic Church. Today we have a pope that speaks out about it.”
Catholic bishops scrapped a proposed landmark welcome to gays earlier this month, showing the deep divisions that exist over the issue.
“He is a compassionate man who wants everybody to be included in the love of God. It is formidable what he is trying to do.
“He is courageous and he is fearless, and that’s what we need.”
John also paid tribute to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his plan to end the spread of Aids in his state by 2020.