(The Tablet) Catholic-Muslim dialogue Improving after Challenging beginning

Five years after Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address that ignited protests around the Islamic world, the Catholic-Muslim Forum established to improve interfaith relations has said that what began as formal dialogue has become increasingly characterised by friendship.

The forum, which grew out of Muslim dissatisfaction with comments in Pope Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg speech, held its second round of theological consultations in Jordan last week. The fate of Middle Eastern Christian minorities amid the Arab Spring’s Islamist renaissance provided a sombre background to the meeting, much as perceived Christian misunderstandings about Islam preceded the first session of the forum at the Vatican in November 2008.

But increasing contacts between Catholic officials and Muslim scholars of the Common Word initiative, the 2007 Islamic dialogue appeal to Pope Benedict, have created bonds that helped both sides tackle sensitive issues.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic