Muslim Scholars Prepare For Audience With Pope

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Muslim scholars who have called for greater dialogue with Christians are holding talks at the Vatican to prepare for what church officials say will be an audience with Pope Benedict.

The group includes some of the 138 Muslim intellectuals who wrote to Benedict and other Christian leaders last year urging Christians and Muslims to build on their common belief in one God.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who heads the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, is hosting the representatives to lay the groundwork for a papal audience expected sometime later this year.

Tauran himself has said the planned papal audience could start a “historic” dialogue between the faiths. Pope Benedict proposed it as part of his official response to the Muslims’ letter.