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Pope mourns Egyptian Muslim leader

March 11, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence to the Al Azhar University in Cairo upon the death of the institution's longtime leader, Sheik Mohammend Sayyed Tantawi.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, sent a telegram indicating that the Pontiff "has asked me to convey to your community and to the family of Sheikh Tantawi his heartfelt and prayerful condolences." He said that the Pope had looked upon the Islamic cleric as "a valued partner in the dialogue between Muslims and Catholics."

Cardinal Bertone added his own personal condolences, saying that he had happy memories of meeting with Sheik Tantawi during the sessions of the joint Islamic-Catholic commission they had established.


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