Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar University, received an invitation to visit the Vatican to officially sanction the resumption of bilateral dialogue between the Holy See and the most authoritative religious and academic institution of Sunni Islam. The invitation was delivered in person by Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot MCCJ, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
"Al-Azhar and the Holy See", says the statement released by the Islamic institution "have agreed on the need to hold a joint meeting to exit the phase of suspension of the bilateral dialogue". In the meeting with the leaders of al-Azhar, Bishop Ayuso Guixot confirmed the full willingness of the Holy See to receive a delegation of the academic and religious Sunni institution in Rome with the aim of relaunching dialogue at the service of peace.
"We have come to Cairo" refers to Agenzia Fides Bishop Ayuso Guixot "to express the desire to resume friendly relations of cooperation, that on our behalf have never stopped, and to recall the importance of our cooperation for the common good of the entire human family.
We also brought an invitation to the Grand Imam to come to Rome to meet Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Cnsiglio for interreligious dialogue, who will then accompany the Grand Imam to the official audience with Pope Francis. Without precipitation, we hope that this will happen soon".
For the Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery responsible for dialogue with other religions, the resumption of active collaboration between the Holy See and al Azhar is also relevant in the light of the international situation marked by conflicts and convulsions that make entire populations suffer. The resumption of relations - said Bishop Ayuso Guixot - is certainly "good news, that in the current situation will help guide our steps along the paths of justice and peace, for a better world. Religious leaders, with their collaboration, want to give an important contribution: in the moment of darkness that we are experiencing, it is important that there are converging forces, intentions and even actions in favor of the wounded humanity, which greatly needs to be healed. Many people of good will are already giving its contribution to spread this balm, which we all need".
The meeting with the leaders of al Azhar - says Bishop Ayuso Guixot - was "friendly", and the resumption of cooperation is "a shared desire by Pope Francis and Grand Imam al Tayyeb". Even the Univerity of al Azhar declared their constant readiness in the official statement to work at the service of anything that promotes "stability and peace", also suggesting to reconsider the setting of the bilateral dialogue in the light of the present changing global scenarios, also marked by the phenomenon of terrorism which claims to be justified on religious grounds. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/02/2016)