Page 5, 30th March 2007

30th March 2007
Page 5
Page 5, 30th March 2007 — Egyptian Islamic cleric backs out of meeting with the Pope
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Egyptian Islamic cleric backs out of meeting with the Pope

GRAND SHEIKH Mohammed Sayyid Tantawi, one of Sunni Islam's leading clerics, has postponed his planned meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.

Sheik Tantawi, head of alAzhar University, a worldrenowned centre of Islamic scholarship in Cairo, Egypt, was scheduled to meet the Pope on Thursday last week at the Vatican.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the Vatican nuncio to Egypt, said that Sheik Tantawi was unable to keep the appointment, but he declined to speculate on the reason. "We possibly will start looking for a new date" for the visit, perhaps in May, the archbishop said.

The Vatican announced in that Sheik Tantawi had accepted a papal invitation for a meeting after Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, visited him in Cairo.




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