Appearing on the popular Italian television show “Che tempo que fa” on December 10, U2 band members Bono and The Edge performed a few songs and then answered some questions from the show’s host, Fabio Fazio.
Right from the beginning, the questions referred (even if only indirectly) to the Vatican. Fazio good-humoredly asked Bono how he felt about the fact that The Edge had sung in the Sistine Chapel (on April 29, 2016) when Bono himself had not; the singer replied wryly, “You know, I’m not so sure that was the right choice…” The Edge, on his part, explained his astonishment at the request:
“It was amazing, and a great honor for me. The best thing is that it didn’t happen through my music, but through what I do in the area medical research [as an activist for cancer prevention]: through these amazing doctors I work with, I was able to go to the conference in the Vatican where I discovered that I was being asked to play, and then I said to myself, ‘But of course, why not? I’d be happy to do it. Where am I supposed to play?’ Once I found that I was actually supposed to play in the Sistine Chapel, I was in shock; it was incredible! The sound, the acoustics travel in that spectacular Chapel; it has a truly incredible echo.”
But Bono’s words are what amaze and have a strong impact on many people, when he explains why they respect Pope Francis so much, and the reason for their social commitment (for years, the band has been committed to many charitable causes around the world):
“The Vicar of Saint Peter is truly a servant, a servant of all. Everyone asks where God is, where is this God? He can be everywhere, in many places: here, maybe in some apartment building… When we are confused about where God lives, the Pope says: go out and find the poor, because God is found where there are poor people. The Pope understands this statement perfectly and deeply—that’s why we respect him.”
The album they presented on the show—Songs of Experience—is centered on the family, and not just because of the image on the album cover:
“The pieces on Songs of Experience hold a truly special place for us. While writing the lyrics, it helped us a lot to think about our families, about friendship and our relationship with our public. These songs are letters… love letters, in a certain sense, one of which is written to America, which right now is going through a difficult time. It’s written to the American soul. As a lyricist, I wanted to write exactly what I was experiencing and feeling, particularly for my family and my marvelous wife, who I began to date the same week we decided to start U2: it was a crazy week.”