Cardinal To Host Meeting With Muslims On Next Step In Dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will host a meeting with Muslim representatives in early March to plan a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and the next step in their dialogue.

Sohail Nakhooda, editor in chief of Islamica Magazine in Jordan, said the meeting with Cardinal Tauran was scheduled for March 3-4.

Nakhooda was one of the 138 Muslim scholars who wrote to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders in October proposing new efforts at Christian-Muslim dialogue based on the shared belief in the existence of one God, in God’s love for humanity and in people’s obligation to love one another.

Pope Benedict responded in November by inviting a group of the Muslim scholars to meet with him and to hold a broader working session with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and with representatives of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies and the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Five of the 138 scholars, including Nakhooda, will participate in the March meeting to prepare for the larger gatherings.

Nakhooda said the other Muslim participants will be Aref Ali Nayed, senior adviser to the Cambridge Interfaith Program of Britain’s Cambridge University divinity faculty; Abdal Hakim Murad Winter, director of Britain’s Muslim Academic Trust and imam of the mosque in Cambridge; Ibrahim Kalin, director of the SETA Foundation in Ankara, Turkey, and a professor at Georgetown University in Washington; and Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice president of the Islamic Religious Community of Italy and an imam in Milan.