Pope Offers ‘Working Meeting’ With Muslims

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In response to a letter from Muslim leaders seeking better relations with the Christian world, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday invited those leaders to the Vatican for a "working meeting" on inter-religious dialogue.

Writing on behalf of the pope, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, expressed Benedict's "gratitude" and "deep appreciation" for an open letter that 138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent to the pope on Oct. 13.

That letter invoked the common principles of "love of the One God, and love of the neighbor" as the ultimate basis for peace between Muslims and Christians. Bertone's reply acknowledged and reaffirmed those points.

"Without ignoring or downplaying our differences as Christians and Muslims, we can and therefore should look to what unites us, namely, belief in the one God," the cardinal wrote.

Bertone noted that Benedict was "particularly impressed by the attention given (by the Muslim letter writers) to the twofold commandment to love God and one's neighbor."

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVIOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Bob from Boone wrote:

John Esposito is right: this is encouraging but only a starting point. (BTW, there are few Catholic scholars more knowledgeable about Islam or more respected by Muslim scholars than Dr. Esposito.)

November 30, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
2. Jeffersonian wrote:

John Esposito isn’t one I’d put a whole lot of stock in regarding Islam.  He’s made a career out of being wrong.

November 30, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
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