05 May 2008

Holy Father, Anglican Archbishop meet

This latest news from the Reuters news service:

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict and the Archbishop of Canterbury discussed Christian-Muslim relations on Monday in their first meeting since the Anglican leader caused a storm in Britain with comments on Sharia law.

A Vatican spokesman said Rowan Williams and the pope spoke privately for about 20 minutes and discussed Christian-Muslim relations, inter-faith dialogue and the pope's impression of his visit to the United States last month.

He described the visit, the second official meeting between the Pope and the spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, as "warm and friendly".

In March Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's top man for relations with Islam, criticized Williams as mistaken and "naive" for suggesting that it was unavoidable that some aspects of Sharia, Islamic law, would be adopted in Britain.

Williams's remarks, in a speech in February, sparked a storm in Britain and beyond and became part of a broader debate on how to integrate Britain's 1.8 million Muslims.

He is in Rome for the 7th Building Bridges Seminar, an annual meeting of leading Christian and Muslim scholars for intensive study of Biblical and Koranic texts.

The theme for this year's seminar, organized together with Georgetown University in Washington D.C., is "Communicating the Word: Revelation, Translation and Interpretation in Christianity and Islam".

Relations between the Catholic and Anglican Churches have been strained over the past decade over the issue of women priests and homosexual bishops in the Anglican Church, which both leaders have acknowledged as obstacles to unity.

Sounds like it was respectful, but little more than "isn't the Muslim situation vexing, and would you like to see the pictures from my recent trip to America..." But then again, they really don't have much else to talk about.