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Vatican set to resume formal talks with Al Azhar

October 21, 2016

The Vatican has announced the resumption of official dialogue with Egypt’s Al Azhar University, the world’s leading institution of Sunni Islam.

A delegation of Vatican officials—led by Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue—will be in Cairo his weekend, for an October 23 meeting with officials of Al Azhar. Their conversations will prepare for a subsequent meeting in Rome, which will be the formal renewal of the official talks. The Rome meeting will take place “probably toward the end of April 2017,” the Vatican announced.

Al Azhar had engaged in regular exchanges with the Holy See until 2011, when the Egyptian clerics broke off relations to protest remarks by Pope Benedict XVI condemning suppression of Christians in Egypt. Plans to resume the regular exchanges were announced earlier this year, and informal conversations in July paved the way for the October 21 announcement that officials talks would resume.

 
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