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'You can see the pain in his face, I felt he was sincere' - Bono says he questioned Pope Francis about clerical sex abuse

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U2 rock band frontman Bono meets Pope Francis at the Vatican 
Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

U2 rock band frontman Bono meets Pope Francis at the Vatican Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Bono meets Pope Francis at the Vatican 
Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Bono meets Pope Francis at the Vatican Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

U2 rock band frontman Bono and Jose Maria Del Corral, president of the Scholas Occurrentes 
(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

U2 rock band frontman Bono and Jose Maria Del Corral, president of the Scholas Occurrentes (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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U2 rock band frontman Bono meets Pope Francis at the Vatican Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Bono has claimed that Pope Francis looked sincerely pained when he questioned the Pontiff about clerical sex abuse.

The U2 frontman called the Pope an "extraordinary man" after the pair met today for a wide-ranging meeting, which covered topics such as child abuse, expanding education worldwide and capitalism.

Bono visited Pope Francis at his Santa Marta residence in the Vatican, as part of his work with ONE, an organisation the rocker co-founded which aims to tackle extreme poverty and disease, particularly in Africa.

The Dubliner told reporters after the meeting that he discussed clerical abuse with Pope Francis.

He said: "Inevitably, with me coming from Ireland we talked about the Pope's feelings about what has happened in the Church and I explained to him that it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims.

"And you can see the pain in his face and I felt he was sincere. He is an extraordinary man for extraordinary times."

Bono (58) also said that their meeting focused on a possible future collaboration between ONE and the Vatican sponsored charitable foundation, Scholas Occurrentes.

"His Holiness was incredibly gracious with his time, his concentration, we let the conversation go where it wanted to go, themes like the future of commerce and how it might achieve sustainable development which is something the Pope is very committed to, as can be seen from his Laudato Si (environmental) encyclical.

"He agrees that we have to rethink the Wild Beast that is capitalism...

“I come from an organisation called One, we now have ten million members, three million of whom live in Africa, and one of our central themes at the moment is the fact that there are 130 million girls who don't go to school because they are girls.  

"So we have a campaign called Poverty is Sexist and we are campaigning for education for all," Bono said.

"We haven't figured out what we are going to do  together yet (with Scholas Occurentes) but we are Intrigued by what they are doing.

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"It is very innovative stuff, very theatrical, education in a different frame, with people in their own communities, so it is from the macro to the micro."


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