A groundbreaking group of prominent Muslim scholars and clerics has accepted the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI for a “working meeting” on interreligious dialogue at the Vatican within the next two months.
The most impressive thing about “A Common Word Between Us and You,” an open letter to the world’s Christian leaders signed by 138 Muslim scholars, is that it exists. (See news report.) The second most impressive thing is the economy of its argument.
Muslim leaders at an interfaith peace conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Naples chided him for not responding to a recent olive-branch missive from Muslim scholars and complained that the reaction of a high Vatican official “misses the very point of dialogue.”
When Mark Hanson, who heads the 66-million-member Lutheran World Federation, read the open letter sent to Christian leaders by an unprecedented range of Muslim clerics and scholars last month, the Chicago-based bishop was not surprised at the erudition and content of the document.
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