Islamic Leaders accept Papal Invitation To Talks In Rome

Amman, Dec. 28, 2007 ( – The leader of an Islamic group calling for inter-religious dialogue has responded positively to a papal invitation for talks with the Holy See, Vatican Radio reports.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, the president of the Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, has indicated that he would like to meet with Pope Benedict XVI (bionews) early in the new year. The Jordanian prince has been the most prominent figure associated the “Common Word” initiative, in which 138 Islamic leaders signed a public statement, issued in October, calling for broader dialogue between Christians and Muslims. More recently the Common Word participants joined in a Christmas greeting to the world’s Christians, renewing their call for dialogue and cooperation.

Pope Benedict replied to the Common Word initiative in November, with his own invitation for members of the Islamic group to join in talks at the Vatican. Prince Ghazi was responding to this papal invitation.

In his reply– which was conveyed in a letter to the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (bionews)– Prince Ghazi said that he hoped to meet with the Pope in February or March 2008.