Pope Francis meets top Egyptian cleric at Vatican, ending five-year freeze in relations

sunniPope 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.

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Pope Francis meets with B’nai B’rith International



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday said Jews and Christians can continue to cooperate together “for the good of the peoples of our time” and work for peace together – especially in the Holy Land and the Middle East. Speaking to representatives of B’nai B’rith International, a Jewish organization that sponsors cultural programs and promotes religious tolerance and international cooperation, the Pope recalled the landmark Vatican II declaration, Nostra Aetate which laid the groundwork for the Catholic Church’s relations with Jews. Founded in 1843, B’nai B’rith, which also provides humanitarian aid and community service in needy areas, has a presence in more than 50 countries across the globe.

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