"Pope Benedict XVI held an audience with some 40 Muslim leaders at his summer residence outside Rome Monday September 25, 2006], telling his visitors he wanted to "strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the Holy See and Muslim communities throughout the world." according to the "global information agency" Adnkronosinternational (AKI).
AKI said, "The meeting, which involved 20 Muslim ambassadors to the Vatican and a similar number of Italian Muslim community leaders, was an effort to put an end to the controversy caused by Pope Benedict's remarks about Islam on 12 September" 2006, during a lecture at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany, titled "Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections." What sparked Muslim anger, protests and church burning was his use of a quote from 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, that says:
“Show me just what Muhammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
According to AKI, "The pope was accompanied at the meeting by the head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Paul Poupard, as well as his new secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who took office last week."
To read the entire AKi report, please see "Vatican: Pope Tells 'Muslim Friends' He wants New Dialogue."
A Few Related Links
Muslim ambassadors arrive for talks with pope --- Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates
Inter-faith dialogue crucial to peace: Pope tells Muslim envoys --- Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates
"Future" depends on dialogue between Christians and Muslims - Pope --- EITB, Spain
Call for Pope's apology to Muslims, Christians --- IranMania News, Iran
Pope remarks may stall Isfahan-Vatican twinning --- IranMania News, Iran
LEONARD PITTS JR. Pope, stop explaining yourself --- Houston Chronicle, USA