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Progress in Catholic-Muslim relations stalled on religious freedom, says Vatican official

Catholic World News - June 22, 2009

The president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue has reported significant progress in dialogue between the Church and the Islamic world, but sees major roadblocks remaining. Speaking at a conference in Venice, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran cited two major impediments. First, he said: "Even the most open-minded Muslim leaders are unable to get their fellow Muslims to accept that people have a right to change religion in accordance with their conscience." Second, the political leadership of Saudi Arabia in particular refuses to budge on allowing freedom of worship for other faiths-- leaving 2 million Catholic residents without legal access to the sacraments.

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