Vatican City, May 23, 2016 / 09:09 am
Pope Francis on Monday embraced the grand imam Sheik Ahmed Muhammad Al-Tayyib during a meeting at the Vatican, a move which is being seen as a step toward reopening dialogue between Christians and Sunni Muslims.
"Our meeting is the message," the Pope was heard to have said to the imam during the meeting.
The pontiff and Al-Tayyib, who is the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque, observed the significance of the meeting "within the framework of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam," said Holy See press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi.
They addressed the commitment on the part of authorities and the faithful of major religions alike to toward bringing world peace, "the rejection of violence and terrorism, and the situation of Christians in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Middle East and their protection."