U2’s Bono sings Pope Francis praise

Pope Francis is an extraordinary man for extraordinary times, says Irish singer Bono.

The U2 frontman told reporters he met privately with Francis on Wednesday to sign an agreement between his charity, ONE, and the Scholas Occurentes educational charity supported by Francis.

“We haven’t figured out what we are going to do together,” Bono said, “but we sort of have a crush on each other.”

ONE is a campaign and advocacy effort working to end extreme poverty, especially in Africa.

Bono says one of its current focuses is education for girls and young women.

About “130 million girls around the world do not go to school, because they are girls,” he said.

“Poverty is sexist” is the ONE campaign slogan.

Scholas began in Francis’ Buenos Aires Archdiocese, supporting education in poor neighbourhoods by pairing local schools with private schools and institutions in wealthier neighbourhoods.

The organisation has grown to other countries and supports a variety of exchange programmes aimed at promoting education, encouraging creativity and teaching young people about respect, tolerance and peace.

Besides signing the ONE/Scholas agreement, Bono said hen and Francis also discussed a number of topics including “the wild beast that is capitalism,” sustainable development and sex abuse.

Francis is “aghast” about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Bono said. “I thought he was sincere.”

He said when he told Francis that in Ireland “it looks as though the abusers are being more protected than the victims, “you could see the pain in his face.”

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News category: World.

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