Cairo

Egypt's Grand al-Azhar Imam hopes for cooperation with pope

Sunni University suspended relations with Vatican in 2011

Egypt's Grand al-Azhar Imam hopes for cooperation with pope

Cairo, March 21 - Egypt's Grand Imam of al-Azhar and president of al-Azhar University, Ahmed el-Tayeb, sent a message of congratulations to Pope Francis on Thursday hoping to overcome a rift with the Catholic Church. In the greeting the Sunni cleric hoped for "a world full of cooperation and love to assure common values and to bring an end to a culture of hate and inequality". Al-Azhar University, a world-renowned center of Sunni scholarship, cut off relations with the Holy See in 2011 in opposition to comments made by Benedict XVI about violence against Christians in Egypt. An advisor to el-Tayeb told Catholic News Service on Monday that the university was waiting for "positive signs" before agreeing to resume dialogue with Rome.

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