Vatican Cardinal Praises Letter From Muslim Scholars To Christian Leaders

VATICAN CITY: A recent letter from Muslim scholars to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders is a “very encouraging sign,” a top Vatican cardinal said Friday.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who heads the pontifical council for inter-religious dialogue, described the letter, signed by 138 scholars, as “very interesting,” because it “comes from both Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims.”

The letter urges Christian and Muslims to develop their common ground of belief in one God. Among those signing were Muslim leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Europe and the United States.

“I would say that this represents a very encouraging sign because it shows that good will and dialogue are capable of overcoming prejudices,” Tauran said.

The Vatican has been trying to improve relations with Muslims after remarks by Benedict in 2006 about Islam and violence angered Muslims.