Over fifty leading Muslim and Catholic scholars and religious leaders from the Middle East, Europe, and America sat behind closed doors in a Vatican building, discussing issues about what divides, and can unite the two faiths. The landmark talks were a hopeful attempt to establish new, positive dialogue after a fall out two years ago concerning a speech by Pope Benedict. The scholars and clerics issued a 15-point declaration asserting a mutual love of God and care for one’s neighbor. Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians and Muslims to overcome their misunderstandings. Some of the topics discussed during the talks included issues on the freedom of religion, freedom of consciences, apostasy, and violence. Noted scholars Tariq Ramadan and Ingrid Mary Mattson praised the meetings, citing positive results that “exceeded” expectations.
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