The Catholic Church leader called for "building" the Christian-Islamic dialogue with patience: "The work that they do, is a work of building."
The Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, was the initiator of the letter of 138 Muslim representatives in 2007. It was written in response to the famous Regensburg speech of Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis: "In a meeting like this dialogue is the operative word. And dialogue means to come out - with the word and with yourself. To say his word and hear the word of the other. Two words come together there, two thoughts. This is the first stage of the path. "
However, it wouldn't be sufficient to remain in the dialogue. Even "the hearts meet." Going from the dialogue to a "dialogue of friendship", and this leads "to a handshake." "Word, heart, hands, it is easy! Even a child understands it," the Pope said.
Francis told the representatives of Islam: "We all have a common father - we are brothers!"
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which is headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, had planned the event.
The attitude of Pope Francis to Islam: Part of the "people of God"?
Last January, it was announced by the Vatican that Pope Francis will visit the Great Mosque of Rome after the visit to the Roman synagogue. As Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi announced the visit would take place on on April 10. Since then, nothing has been discussed for mosque visit.
Already in November 2015 it had been circulated by Francis is allegedlt had the intention to write an encyclical about Islam.
This past Holy Thursday, the Catholic Church leader visited a refugee center in Rome. In his address to the mostly Muslim refugees, the Pope said that the Muslims would belong to the "people of God". An equivalence of Islam was highlighted in January by the first "video of the Pope", where Islam, Judaism and Buddhism were put visually on the same level with Christianity in a message from the Pope.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Vatican.va/Osservatore Romano (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org