Pope Francis is a 'rebel for Jesus', according to Katy Perry – and the singer who famously walked away from her childhood faith has said she has never left God behind her.
In an interview for Vogue Australia, Perry talks about her visit to Rome for an audience with Pope Francis last April.
'It started when we were on the Asia leg of the tour and I went to mass with my mom,' she says. '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.'
Perry's parents are evangelical Christians, but her mother was raised as a Roman Catholic. She has spoken previously about reacting against her highly conservative upbringing, describing herself as the 'black sheep' of the family.
However, she told Vogue: 'My mom has prayed for me my entire life, hoping I'd come back to God. 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.'
She said of the pope: 'I'm such a big fan of Pope Francis. It's a combination of compassion, humility, sternness and refusal. He is rebel – a rebel for Jesus.'
She added: 'He is bringing the Church back to humility and connecting with people. He's very humble and not frivolous.'
Perry told Marie Claire in 2013: 'I don't believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable.
'I'm not Buddhist, I'm not Hindu, I'm not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God.'