Sir Elton Says Jesus Would Back Gay Marriage
Sir Elton John has revealed plans for a "very quiet" wedding - and said he believes Jesus Christ would support gay priests getting married.
In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the star told Dermot Murnaghan he hopes to marry David Furnish some time next year and that it would be a low-key affair.
He also revealed his thoughts about the Pope - describing him as a "wonderful" man whose tolerance was an example to the Church of England.
The entertainer also spoke about the launch of a new fund to support the training of young athletes determined to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics.
He said he hoped a concert, performed for the charity SportsAid at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire last night, would raise £500,000 for the fund.
Sir Elton told Murnaghan that the global fight for gay rights was stalling and that he planned to talk with Vladimir Putin in Russia on the subject in November.
"Globally, we seem to have gone backwards over the last 18 months," Sir Elton said.
"I will see Putin and talk to him - I don't know what good it will do though."
Discussing gay rights, he said that the Church of England might learn from the humility and tolerance of Pope Francis.
"The new Pope has been wonderful, he's excited me so much," Sir Elton said.
"He's stripped it [the Church] down to the bare bones and said it's all basically about love."
Sir Elton agreed that gay clergy should be allowed to get married and suggested that the celibacy vow for Catholic priests be abolished.
"These are old and stupid things. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen.
"He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that's what the church should be about."
Asked about his own wedding, he said: "I don't think we can get married until next year.
"However, when we do do, it will be very quiet and off the cuff - we had our big shebang when we had our civil union."
Sir Elton also described the Glastonbury festival as the ultimate music event - but said he had never been asked to perform there.
Murnaghan spoke to Sir Elton at the concert for SportsAid at Stoke Park. The aim of it was to create a new athlete fund that will help young people who hope to represent Great Britain at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Sir Elton, who has been involved in the charity since its creation in the 1970s, explained how he hopes to create Britain's next Olympians.
He hoped the money raised would mean "for the next eight years 20 kids will get a grant of £2,000 that they normally couldn't get.
"It is just a way of supplementing their incomes and giving them hope for the future," he said.