Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Bono invited to meet Pope as arts and faith re-engage

When Bono met Pope John Paul II in 2005 he hailed him as the “best frontman the Roman Catholic Church ever had”.

So when his successor Pope Benedict XVI meets the U2 frontman in the coming weeks it will be interesting to see who ends up singing whose praises.

The pontiff has invited the Irish rock star to meet him in the Vatican, to revive the relationship between faith and art.

The singer will join more than 500 personalities from the worlds of art, theatre, literature and music who have been asked to gather with the pope in the Sistine Chapel on November 21.

Following the iconic moment when he placed his famous ‘Fly' shades on the previous Holy |Father, it remains to be seen how the current pontiff will top his predecessor's bond with the multi-millionaire Irish rocker. The guest list for this meeting of minds reads like a who's who of the arts world and includes names such as Italian film score composer Ennio Morricone, avant-garde theatre director Bob Wilson and architect Daniel Libeskind, who is currently building developer Harry Crosbie's theatre on Hanover Quay.

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture said that the artists were selected on the basis of their reputation and awards they had received.

The archbishop also explained the meeting was to be the first of many initiatives aimed at bridging the gap that has developed between spirituality and artistic expression over the last century.

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