Nice to meet U2: Wheelchair-bound Pope Francis beams with joy as he shakes hands with Bono at Rome university

  • The Pope and U2 singer Bono Vox launched a foundation for women’s education together in Rome on Thursday at the Pontifical Urban University
  • Bono called girl’s education a ‘superpower’ used to fight extreme poverty 
  • ‘Women know more about harmony than we men do,’ said Pope Francis

U2 frontman Bono Vox and a wheelchair-bound Pope Francis launched a women’s education foundation together in Rome on Thursday.

Bono, 62, and the 85-year-pope shared a platform organised by Scholas Occurrentes, Latin for ‘Schools of Meeting’, a worldwide network of schools promoting educational opportunities. 

The Pope inaugurated the Scholas Occurrentes International Educational Movement on May 19 during a meeting with young people in Italy’s capital. 

The event took place on Thursday evening at the Pontifical Urban University, called the Urbaniana, which lies within walking distance of St Peter’s Square.

‘Girls’ education is a superpower to fight extreme poverty and I would like to ask His Holiness if you think that women and girls have the same important role to change the world and climate change,’ said the Dubliner.

The Pope and U2 singer Bono Vox launched a ‘Pontifical foundation’ for women’s education together in Rome on Thursday at the Pontifical Urban University

Pope Francis (R), Founder of Scholas Occurrentes Jose Maria del Corral (C) and Bono, frontman of Irish rock band U2 (L) pose for a picture with attendees during the launch of the Scholas Occurrentes International Movement at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome

The Pope was seen using a wheelchair in public for the first time in early May, days after he said he was having treatment for knee pain


Bono called girl’s education a ‘superpower’ used to fight extreme poverty

Francis answered yes, saying ‘we speak of Mother Earth, not Father Earth,’ with a smile that earned him applause.

The Pope was seen using a wheelchair in public for the first time in early May, days after he said he was having treatment for knee pain.

The young students welcomed the pope with a show of chants and recitals based around the theme of protecting the environment.

‘We need poetry and courage to care for our common home, we must defend the harmony of creation and women know more about harmony than we men do,’ said Francis.

Scholas Occurrentes started as an education project created for children in impoverished areas in Buenos Aires, at the initiative of the then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.

The project has since spread to more than 70 countries, many in the developing world. 

In his speech, Bono said he had given students music lessons earlier in the day and called for wider educational opportunities for young people.

The pope told the young people to live lives full of courage and poetry and ‘to go beyond what is politically correct’.

In a surprise entrance, Brazilian football star Ronaldinho Gaúcho walked in and gave Pope Francis, a fan of the sport, a jersey with the Pope’s name ‘Francesco’ and the number 10 on it.

Also at the event was Brazilian footballer Dani Alves and Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez, who jogged with a football at the launch of the event.

During the inauguration, organisers also announced another football match for peace in memory of the late football legend Diego Maradona.

The match will take place on 10 October in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

Maxi Rodriguez, Ronaldinho and Dani Alves, takes part in the festive launch of the Scholas Occurrentes International Movement at the Pontifical Urban University. Ronaldinho presented Pope Francis with a Jersey sporting his name ‘Francesco’ and the number 10 on it

Pope Francis signs a football ball during the launch of the Scholas Occurrentes International Movement

Pope Francis and Scholas Occurrentes’ President Jose Maria Del Corral, left, look at Newell’s Old Boys captain, Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez jogging a soccer ball at the launch of the ‘Scholas Occurrentes’

The event took place on Thursday evening at the Pontifical Urban University, called the Urbaniana, which lies within walking distance of St Peter’s Square 

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