Pope thaws tensions by embracing top Egyptian cleric 3

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Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, ending a five-year freeze in relations between the Vatican and the dominant centre of Sunni Muslim learning.

At a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians, Pope Francis was photographed giving Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib a hug during the visit.

Pope Frances told the imam: “The meeting is a message.”

It is an historic meeting between the two faith leaders after the 1,000-year-old mosque and university cut ties with the Vatican in 2011 because it said there were repeated insults towards Islam from the pope’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Back then the pope demanded increased protection for Christians in Egypt following a New Year’s bombing on a Coptic Christian church that killed 21 people and Alexandria.

Despite increased Islamic attacked on Christians in the region in that time, the Vatican and Al-Azhar committed to strengthening ties.

Pope Francis and el-Tayyib spoke for 25 minutes in private, bidding each other farewell with an embrace.

In a statement the Vatican says the two men discussed the problems of violence and terrorism, and the situation of Christians in the Middle East, including how best to protect them.

Pope Francis recently set an example to the rest of Europe when he took in Muslim refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

He has also recently criticised Western powers for not respecting the indigenous political cultures in the Middle East and Africa.

What do you think of this meeting between Pope Francis and Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib? Are you involved in any form of religion?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Every ism and ology belongs to one faith, The New Age Movement except the true heart Christians and the God loving Jews. This Pope is a humanitarian seeking peace, he does not represent Jesus as the Christ, just another religion.

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  2. This is good press for the Pope, but what about him addressing the foulness of paedophilic priests and those who protected/ignored them, starting with cardinal Pell?????????

    How long is this going to be ignored???

    Anything the current Pope does will be stained forever in history by his unwillingness to act on the the Church’s blind-eye to systemic child abuse!!!!

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