» 04/13/2011, 00.00
EGYPT - VATICAN
Egypt, Al-Azhar reaffirms opposition to dialogue with Vatican
In a meeting with the papal nuncio, the Grand Imam El-Tayeb reiterates the accusations against the Vatican after the Pope's appeals for the safety of Christians. AsiaNews sources underline the contradictions of the Muslim world and the dual position of the Egyptian authorities of Al-Azhar, intransigent towards the Vatican, but claiming to be the moderate face of Islam.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - Al-Azhar will only resume talks with the Holy See after an apology from the Pope, who was accused of criticizing Islam following an attack against the Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria last January 3. As much was revealed in an informal meeting between Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and Michael Fitzgerald, Vatican ambassador to Cairo. In the meeting, which took place yesterday in Cairo, the Muslim leader said that relations between the two religions are normal, but demands an official apology from the Pope, as a condition to restarting any dialogue between Al-Azhar and the Vatican.
"It's not fair to ask the Pope for an apology - says a source, anonymous for safety reasons - because he never insulted Islam, he just asked for the protection of Christians wherever they are, as is his duty." The source points out the dual position held by the authorities of Al-Azhar, which on one hand demand an apology from the Pope, but still want to be seen as the moderate face of Islam. "The Vatican – continues the source - must be firm on its positions and ask the imam of Al-Azhar the reasons for an apology and where the error of the Holy Father lies. Al-Azhar should instead explain why there continues to be violence against Christians in Egypt before it demands excuses".
According to the source, the relationship, viewed as courteous in the past, were in fact ambiguous. "Islamic leaders - he says- have always imposed a dialogue of superficial courtesy with the Church, in this way avoiding discussing or addressing contentious issues and problems encountered between Christianity and Islam. Now the Vatican is aware of the situation and is not afraid to adopt a more firm and rigid stance. "
The Jasmine Revolution and the fall of Mubarak has highlighted the confusion and instability within Egyptian Muslim society, teetering between secular and democratic movements, radical Islam and the risk of a new military regime. According to the source this would in part explain the contradictory attitude of Al-Azhar.
"The Egyptian Muslim world - he says - is currently very divided. At Al-Azhar, there are contrasts between the positions of Ahmed El-Tayeb and other imams with scholars of the university. In turn, Al-Azhar is at odds with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, internally divided between the hard line of the older members and the young reformers. The contrast also exists between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movement, who clash on many topics. " The source says that these divisions could clarify the positions and currents within Islam, the result of contradictions within the Koran and the absence of final authority in the Muslim world.
The military government, currently guarantors of stability, is an expression of this confusion. The source says the arrest of Mubarak and his sons, which took place today, is a device used by the army to regain the popular consensus, lost after the violent repression of demonstrations on April 8. "The military - he says - want to show they are still part of the population, attacking Mubarak and dispelling the doubts of collusion with the old regime." (Sc)
25/01/2011 VATICAN-ISLAM - EGYPT
Al Azhar also expected in Assisi
Suspension of dialogue with the Vatican concerns Egyptian Church. For days, Patriarch Naguib, spokesman for the bishops and Catholic communities has submitted to the Egyptian government and the imam of Al Azhar, the Arabic translation of the Pope's speech that led to the apparent freeze. Accusations against Al Jazeera, of intentionally misrepresenting the papal message. In both east and west growing need for real religious freedom against terrorism and secularism.
21/01/2011 ISLAM - VATICAN
Al-Azhar against the Vatican: politics and pettiness
Behind the decision to freeze dialogue with the Holy See, the rejection of the presence in the Vatican delegation of an expert in Islam of Jordanian nationality, a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. But also political expediency. Al-Azahr condemned the suicide of the Tunisian that sparked the popular revolt and fall of Ben Ali.
Islamic Al Azhar University suspends dialogue with Vatican
The decision was made this morning during a special meeting of researchers over "the recent unacceptable interference (of the Pope, ed), who sought protection for Coptic Christians." The Vatican spokesman: "The position of the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue remains an attitude of openness and willingness to dialogue. "
25/05/2016 11:50:00 EGYPT-VATICAN
Pope-Grand Imam of Al Azhar: Egypt’s press enthusiastic and "political" comments
Al Sisi mediation praised for success of encounter. Amazement at the sobriety of the Vatican statement. A corrective measure for Islamophobia generated by the Islamic State. A reader: I believe in Pope Francis and his smile
03/11/2008 VATICAN - ISLAM
Christians and Muslims: resuming dialogue, thanks to the pope
For two days, from November 4-6, Islamic and Catholic experts are meeting at the Vatican, after years of chilly relations due to the growth of fundamentalism. Everything has now resumed, thanks to the address of Benedict XVI in Regensburg, where he affirmed that religion embraces reason and excludes violence. The most urgent theme: religious freedom, so that every community may be guaranteed the right to proclaim and spread its faith.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
18/05/2017 ASIA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.