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Bono discusses Irish abuse with Pope Francis at Vatican meeting

U2 singer Bono met Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday. Picture by Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Paul Ainsworth

U2 frontman Bono has spoken of the "pain" expressed by Pope Francis over clerical abuse in Ireland following a private meeting between the pair.

The singer met with Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday while representing anti-poverty charity the ONE campaign, to discuss a new agreement with the Scholas Occurentes educational charity.

During the 30 minute meeting, Bono raised the issue of abuse within the Irish church.

The issue overshadowed the Papal visit to Ireland last month, when Pope Francis criticised the church's failure to protect victims, saying it "remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community".

The Pope described abuse by members of the clergy as "repugnant crimes" and met with victims at the Vatican embassy during the two-day visit

Speaking to reporters after the meeting yesterday, Bono said: "Having just come from Ireland, inevitably, we talked about his (being) aghast about what has happened in the Church,"

He continued: "I explained to him how it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims", adding that he "could see the pain" in the Pope's face when the issue was raised.

The singer, who previously had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1999, praised Pope Francis, adding: "I felt he was sincere, and I think he's an extraordinary man for extraordinary times."

Bono also described Pope Francis as a "radical thinker", adding: "I felt quite old-fashioned sitting next to him.

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