First-ever Catholic-Muslim forum to open at Vatican

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VATICAN CITY (AFP) – The Vatican’s first-ever Catholic-Muslim forum kicks off Tuesday, two years after Pope Benedict XVI sparked outrage among Muslims for a speech seen as linking Islam with violence.

The three-day forum opens “a new chapter in the long history” of dialogue between the two faiths, the head of the Catholic delegation, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, told the French Catholic daily La Croix.

Benedict will meet with the delegations on Thursday.

The Muslim side is led by the mufti of Bosnia, Mustafa Ceric, whose spokesman Yahya Pallavicini told AFP the delegates “represent no state and no ideological tendency.”…

Muslims and Christians differ in their concept of God, and follow “different paths to reach this God,” said Tauran, the Roman Catholic Church’s pointman for dialogue with Islam. Click here to read more.

“Vatican officials and Muslim scholars will begin talks on November 4: the fruit of the ‘Common Word’ initiative by 138 Islamic scholars and the direct result of a papal invitation.”1

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