Pop star Katy Perry revealed this week that she is a “big fan” of Pope Francis, whom she met in the Vatican last April, calling him a “rebel for Jesus.”
Ms. Perry, who rocketed to fame after releasing her transgressive hit song I Kissed A Girl in 2008, told Vogue Australia Tuesday that as she has gotten older, faith has become more central for her, thanks in part to her mother’s prayers.
“My mom has prayed for me my entire life, hoping I’d come back to God,” Perry said. “I never left Him, I was just a little bit secular, I was more materialistic and more career-driven. But now that I’m in my 30s, it’s more about spirituality and heart wholeness.”
Raised by Pentecostal pastors, Perry said her return to spirituality began with going to Mass with her mother, who had been raised Catholic.
“It started when we were on the Asia leg of the tour and I went to mass with my mom,” Perry said. “She hadn’t sung those songs in 40 years and watching her made me cry. It’s so beautiful and humbling to re-centre in a place where it’s not about anything else but reconnecting with the divine.”
That same trip brought Perry to Rome, where she met with Pope Francis, together with her mother and actor boyfriend, Orlando Bloom. She describes herself as a “big fan” of the pontiff, who bears the name of her favorite saint, Francis of Assisi.
“I’m such a big fan of Pope Francis,” she said. “It’s a combination of compassion, humility, sternness and refusal. He is a rebel — a rebel for Jesus.”
“He is bringing the Church back to humility and connecting with people. He’s very humble and not frivolous,” she said.
Perry has been an advocate for open borders, abortion, and gay rights, calling for global unity after the terrorist bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K. in May 2017.
“No barriers, no borders, we all just need to co-exist,” she said in an interview.
During the 2016 campaign, Perry came out in support of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton and since then has been a vocal opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump, marching in the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington shortly after Trump’s inauguration.
She has used her visibility as a pop star to stump for abortion giant Planned Parenthood, calling on people to “show your support” for PP as well as directly donating herself to the organization.
Ms. Perry has also become something of an icon for the LGBT movement, campaigning for a more fluid understanding of human sexuality.
After Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military in 2017, Perry responded by tweeting “#ProtectTransTroops,” urging: “ALL those who defend our right to live freely should be able to serve freely! There are THOUSANDS currently serving!”
In March of the same year Perry received the Human Rights Campaign’s National Equality Award for her active support of the LGBT community.
In her acceptance speech, Perry praised homosexuals as the freest people she has ever known.
“These people were nothing like I’d been taught to fear,” she said, in reference to the biblical morality she was raised on.
“They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met. They stimulated my mind and they filled my heart with joy and they freaking danced all the while doing it,” she said.
“These people are actually magic and they are magic because they are living their truth,” she added.
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