Bono, the lead singer of U2, speaks during a news conference in the Vatican press hall after meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican Sept. 19. Also pictured are Jose Maria del Corral, president of Scholas Occurentes, and Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman. CNS photo/Paul Haring
Bono, the lead singer of U2, speaks during a news conference in the Vatican press hall after meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican Sept. 19. Also pictured are Jose Maria del Corral, president of Scholas Occurentes, and Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman. CNS photo/Paul Haring

The following news briefs were recently published by Catholic News Service:

Irish singer Bono calls Pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'
VATICAN CITY  -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being more protected than the victims. And you could see the pain in his face." Bono met the Pope Sept. 19 to sign an agreement between his charity, ONE, and the Scholas Occurentes educational charity supported by Pope Francis.During the half-hour meeting, Bono said, he brought up Pope Francis' recent trip to Ireland and the concerns there about the sexual abuse crisis. Bono said. "I think he is an extraordinary man for extraordinary times," the singer said. ONE is a campaign and advocacy effort working to end extreme poverty, especially in Africa. One of its current focuses, Bono told reporters Sept. 19, is education for girls and young women. Some "130 million girls around the world do not go to school, because they are girls," he said. "Poverty is sexist" is the campaign slogan, he said.

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine
WARSAW, Poland -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including more Masses in different languages and facilities for young pilgrims who flock to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions. "Medjugorje represents Europe's spiritual lungs, a place where millions discover God and the beauties of the church," said Archbishop Henryk Hoser, retired archbishop of Warsaw-Praga. "We now have to re-create its infrastructure, firstly by securing its liturgical space. We also need to expand its areas for retreats and provide new places for celebrating the Eucharist, especially for pilgrims," he said. In May, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Hoser apostolic visitor to Medjugorje, where six young people claimed in 1981 that Mary had appeared to them. Many people see "only the sociological side of the church, which is also the face of sinners," and fail to comprehend its religious mission, the archbishop said Sept. 16 at a new Catholic youth center in Warsaw. "We all bear responsibility for the church -- we're all called to be apostles, evangelizers and teachers, according to the gifts we've obtained from God," he said. 

Lumen Christi Award finalists examples of 'how to change world'
CHICAGO -- Catholic Extension's finalists for its Lumen Christi Award show "what can happen when we build up and strengthen Catholic faith communities in the poorest parts of the United States,'" said Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension. "If we all follow their examples, we can change our world," the priest said. Lumen Christi is Latin for "Light of Christ." The award honors an individual or group who demonstrates how the power of faith can transform lives and communities. The finalists, announced Sept. 12, include three "Dreamers," young people who are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; two women religious and an order of religious sisters; the lay coordinator of an immigrant parish in Puerto Rico; the principal of the only Catholic school in the 25-county Diocese of Lubbock, Texas; and a priest who was orphaned when his police officer father was killed in the line of duty. Another finalist is not an individual but a diocesan ministry -- the Office of Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi. The Lumen Christi Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Chicago-based national organization, which raises and distributes funds to support U.S. mission dioceses, many of which are rural, cover a large geographic area, and have limited personnel and pastoral resources. Among other things, funds help build churches and assist with seminarians' education and training for other church workers.