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From Vertigo to Vatican as Bono chats with Pope

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Bono hugs Pope Francis. Photo: Reuters

Bono hugs Pope Francis. Photo: Reuters

Bono hugs Pope Francis. Photo: Reuters

Rocker Bono has raised the issue of the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church with Pope Francis.

The U2 frontman yesterday met with the pontiff in the Vatican.

"Inevitably, with me coming from Ireland, we talked about the Pope's feelings about what has happened in the Church," Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, said after the meeting.

"I explained to him that it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims. You can see the pain in his face and I felt he was sincere," he said.

He described the Pope as "an extraordinary man for extraordinary times".

Gracious

The pair were meeting to discuss a possible collaboration between Bono's charity, 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," Bono said.

"He agrees that we have to rethink the wild beast that is capitalism."

The singer said One now had 10 million members, three million of whom lived in Africa.

"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.

"We haven't figured out what we are going to do together yet with Scholas Occurrentes, but we are intrigued by what they are doing," he said.

Scholas Occurrentes is a charitable initiative related to educational opportunities that has its origins in Buenos Aires, the Pope's birthplace.

"I could stay in Italy, drink, eat and dance, but not tonight. I've got a plane to catch," Bono said as he rushed out of the Vatican.


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