Vatican To Sponsor Meeting With Muslims

Rome, Mar 5 (Prensa Latina) The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue said on Wednesday the Vatican will sponsor a meeting with Islamic representatives in November.

The First Catholic-Muslim Forum will be held in Rome from November 4-6 to foster interreligious dialogue and pave the way for open bilateral communication, according to a communiqué from the Vatican institute.

The press release says that 24 Islamic scholars will come to Rome to attend the meeting and meet Pope Benedict XVI, who will deliver a speech.

Participants in the meeting will debate such issues as love for God, human dignity and mutual respect.

The Vatican wants to meet with Islamic leaders, and considers that respect for religious freedom is a fundamental aspect in the talks.

The dialogue was fostered by an exchange of letters between 138 Islamic clergymen and Pope Benedict XVI, as well as several leaders of the Catholic Church.

Regarding the interreligious dialogue, German Cardinal Walter Kasper pointed out that Christianity must hold critical and constructive dialogue with the Islam, as the latter is no longer a “mere guest” in Europe, he said, in reference to millions of Muslim residents in the region.