Pope To Host Muslim Leaders In November

The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI will host a ground-breaking “summit” of Catholic and Muslim leaders in November.

The “Catholic-Muslim Forum” from November 4 to 6, will bring together 24 dignitaries from each faith on the theme of “love God, love your neighbour,” it said.

The statement was signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican council for dialogue between religions, and Sheikh Hakim Mourad, who led a delegation of Muslim officials in talks in the Vatican on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The conference will take place just over a year after 138 Muslim leaders from various sects from 43 countries issued an open letter to Christian churches urging peace and dialogue.

The move sponsored by Jordan’s Prince Ghazi bin Muhammed bin Talal came one year after the pope made a speech at Regensberg University in Germany which angered some Muslim leaders for using a quote which seemed to equate Islam with violence.

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has underlined the pontiff’s “complete willingness” to meet with Muslim leaders “to see what unites us, without minimising or ignoring our differences.”