Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Emilie Lemmons

7/6/2006 (8 years ago)

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As a college student in the 1980s, Father Erich Rutten first associated the Irish rock band U2 with "great political rock."

U2'S BONO PERFORMS – U2's Bono performs to a sell-out crowd of 90,000 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City in early February. Father Erich Rutten, associate pastor at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn. And a U2 fan, has come to believe the group was a Christian rock band, without its members calling it one. (CNS/Reuters)

U2'S BONO PERFORMS – U2's Bono performs to a sell-out crowd of 90,000 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City in early February. Father Erich Rutten, associate pastor at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn. And a U2 fan, has come to believe the group was a Christian rock band, without its members calling it one. (CNS/Reuters)

Highlights

By Emilie Lemmons

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

7/6/2006 (8 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family


Then he discovered one of the band's early albums from 1981, "October." Listening to songs such as "Gloria" and "Rejoice," with references to Jerusalem and the themes of death and resurrection, he realized that "virtually every song on the album is explicitly Christian," he said. Interested in things spiritual, he started to learn more about U2 and pay attention to the lyrics – even in songs that seemed more like political songs or love ballads. "They're a Christian rock band" without calling themselves one, he told The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. "They steered a very interesting course. They didn't go with the explicitly Christian band label. They developed their artistry – their music – in such a way that they did an excellent job of bringing in common, everyday symbols and stories to amplify the Christian message." Father Rutten, who was ordained for the archdiocese last year and is an associate pastor at the Cathedral of St. Paul, is still a U2 fan, and he's become more well-known for it. At the invitation of the young adult series Theology on Tap, he developed a PowerPoint presentation last year on the Irish band to share at one of the local gatherings. He pointed out that Bono was born in 1960 in Dublin, Ireland, to an Anglican mother and Catholic father. His real name is Paul Hewson and his nickname is short for Bono Vox, which means "good voice" in Latin. It also was the name of a hearing aid shop in Dublin. Bono has said he grew up with a strong religious faith, mostly attending his mother's church, but did not become attached to one particular denomination. "From his household, he was very sensitive to the ways in which people of faith hurt each other, just across denominational divides," Father Rutten said. In fact, in a song on the 1987 album "The Joshua Tree," Bono sings of a place "Where the Streets Have No Name." It's an image of heaven, free of tension and division, "not divided by what side of the street you live on," the priest said. Father Rutten said band members have commented that whenever they play the song live, they "feel the power of God." The priest said some might expect the band to rant against U.S. foreign policy and war, but instead it presents a Christian view of hope. The 2004 song "Vertigo" carries a sense of being off-balance, as if there's nothing firm to stand on, Father Rutten noted. "That's how they describe the modern world." Later in the song, Bono sings: "Your love is teaching me how to kneel." It's the idea that "in the midst of the chaos or the confusion or the vertigo, you can find some stability through faith," Father Rutten said. But U2 makes no pretense of having all the answers. The priest said the band's spirituality is one of questioning and attempts to be comfortable with mystery or apparent contradictions. Some people see that questioning as a lack of faith. But Father Rutten sees it as a mature faith. "Even in the midst of questioning," he said, "there's that implicit trust and faith that the love of God is beneath it all."

---

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

'It felt like a car was backing over me' Real life mothers share stories on the pain of childbirth Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to the romanticizing of giving birth as part of the rosy life of a woman, a blogger decided to ask some mothers for their personal takes. Using different names for anonymity, most of the responding mothers gave horrific descriptions on the pain endured, far from ... continue reading


What about the First Amendment? School prohibits student from including popular Bible verse in project Watch

Image of For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sixth-grader Mackenzie Fraiser initially planned to include the famous Bible verse John 3:16 as an inspirational quote for her school PowerPoint presentation. However, she was discouraged after in an earlier assignment about self-esteem, the same teacher has now ... continue reading


Have dogs always been man's best friend? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forty thousand years ago, ancient man and the ancestors of modern, domesticated dogs shared the same space, contrary to what scientists initially believed. Based on earlier studies of the canine genome, today's dogs have evolved from their wilder and hostile ancestors, ... continue reading


How an amazing service dog forever changed his young owner's life Watch

Image of Service dogs make life much easier for those who suffer from diseases such as cerebral palsy or blindness.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A service dog has become a little miracle to his 11-year-old owner who is blind and suffers from daily seizure attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The dog, named Flint, was given as a gift to little Alyssa, who began suffering from her condition when she was ... continue reading


Are you an attentive parent? Smartphone distraction can be dangerous Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cellphones have become most parents' and child caregivers' source of guilt for the lack of attention they give to their kids while at playgrounds, according to a study completed by researchers from the University of Washington. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Director reveals why his new movie will shatter societal stereotypes on Down syndrome Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Purposely casting an actor who has Down syndrome to portray the lead in his upcoming movie, director Chris Dowling believes the film will shatter all outdated stereotypes society has against people with the condition. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - His new ... continue reading


School bus bully surprised with small gift that changed everything Watch

Image of An upset father prayed for help in solving his children's [not pictured] bullying problem.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Texas father and his wife plans to work with school administration to fix the growing problem of bullying on the school bus, after learning how his own kid was harassed. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - However, the steps taken were not as effective as ... continue reading


How one woman's vision led to a special prayer box Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Angela Tomiye has been praying for strangers' after they leave their messages for God inside the prayer box she placed on top of Koko Head, a Hawaiian hill. The prayer notes people leave will be read and prayed for by an assembly of friends she organizes each week. ... continue reading


Through the 'hands of God': Brain dead teen unexpectedly awoke from coma, now a high school graduate Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Taylor Hale, then 14, was declared brain dead and pulled out of her life support after suffering from a severe head injury due to an accident she had in September 2011. Devastated, her parents were suggested by the doctors to donate her organs and prepare her funeral, ... continue reading


Parents lie about religion to get kids into good schools Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Parents have resorted into faking their religion and their addresses because of the tough competition from the growing numbers of applicants trying to get into certain good schools. A poll revealed that parents will do certain things to secure their kid's slots in ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 2:1-11
1 When Pentecost day came round, they had all met ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, Yahweh, my God, how great ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:19-23
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
3 Because of that, I want to make it quite clear to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2015 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland’s virtuous queen, (Saint) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter