Tuesday, March 25, 2008

King Abdullah of Saudi: "I thank the Pontiff for how we welcomed me. It was a man-to-man encounter."

Since the Pope's big Baptism of you know who is in the news this of interest. Again a lot of stuff is still coming out of that visit of Kimg of Saudi Arabia to Pope Benedict last year.

The Ratzinger Forum has this news piece plus the added quote(that is my entry title) from another source.

RIYADH, March 24 (AFP) — Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Monday proposed inter-faith talks between Muslims, Christians and Jews in a first for the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, the official SPA news agency reported. "I ask representatives of all the monotheistic religions to meet with their brothers in faith," the king told delegates to a seminar on "Dialogue Among Civilisations between Japan and the Islamic World." SPA reported that top Saudi clerics had given the green light for the idea, and that Muslim leaders from other countries would now be consulted.
The king said he had discussed the project, which he has been mulling over for two years, with Pope Benedict XVI during his landmark visit to the Vatican last November.

"If God wills it, we will then meet with our brothers from other religions, including those of the Torah and the Gospel... to come up with ways to safeguard humanity," the king said. The news agency said he also intended to address the United Nations on the subject. "We have lost sincerity, morals, fidelity and attachment to our religions and to humanity," the king said, deploring "the disintegration of the family and the rise of atheism in the world -- a frightening phenomenon that all religions must confront and vanquish." The monarch did not say where he hoped the proposed dialogue would take place.

The Italian news agency APCOM, reporting the same thing as above, but citing the London-based pan-Arab ewspaper al-Hayat as its source, adds this detail, translated here:
King Abdullah, in referring to his visit with Pope Benedict, also said: "I thank the Pontiff for how we welcomed me. It was a man-to-man encounter."

As always when I read this things happening in the magic Kingdom I go too Crossroads Arabia and see if he is commenting.

He comments on the above story here as it is appearing in Arab papers

Also see this interesting story at his site about how the Govt is about to retrain Imans to be more TOLERANT of differences

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