Jesus would have been a supporter of gay marriage, Sir Elton John has claimed.
The musician, who plans to marry his civil partner David Furnish next year in a "very quiet" ceremony, said that rules preventing gay clergy from marrying and requiring Catholic priests to be celibate were "old and stupid things".
He told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "The church hierarchy, the traditionalists, might be up in arms about it but times have changed.
"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 is what the church should be about."
Sir Elton said he believed the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was "doing a good job" and Pope Francis was "wonderful".
"He's excited me so much by his humanity," the singer said of the Pope.
"He's taken everything down to the humility of faith.
"He's stripped it down to the bare bones and said it's all basically about love and inclusiveness. That has to be encouraged by the Church of England as well."
Sir Elton offered to introduce Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the gay community earlier this year to show the impact of "deeply divisive" legislation.
He said he plans to meet with the Russian leader when he visits the country in November.
The performer added: "It's no good putting up a wall and saying I'm not talking to these people; the only way things get solved is by talking to people."
Sir Elton said that he and his partner were not able to get married until next year because they were already in a civil partnership.
He said the marriage would be "very quiet and very off the cuff" as the couple had a big celebration for their civil union.