Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential centre of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago. The 1,000-year-old mosque and university centre cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults towards Islam from Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict.
I was as shocked as any sensible human being would have been when I learned about the senseless, heinous, appalling and cowardly act that took place in Paris at the weekend . This attack is shocking, and offends the conscience of every sane person, regardless of their religious identity. I wish to stress categorically and unequivocally our complete solidarity and unwavering support for the French people in their plight and their determination to combat terror