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Inside the VaticanApril 15, 2021
Pope Francis shakes hands with Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt's al-Azhar mosque and university, during a document signing at an interreligious meeting at the Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in this Feb. 4, 2019, file photo. Some hope the leader of Iraq's Shiite Muslims also will sign onto the document during Pope Francis' March 5-8 visit. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Ten years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine the pope having the kind of strong relationship with a top Muslim leader that Pope Francis has with the Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb. Back in 2019, the two signed the groundbreaking document on Human Fraternity together in Abu Dhabi, but a new book by the Muslim judge, Mohamed Abdel Salam, who was intimately involved in the process of putting that document together, explains that the road to signing that document was not always easy.

Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam presented his new book about the process, The Pope and the Grand Imam: A Thorny Path, to Pope Francis last week. On this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” America’s Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell walks listeners through the story of how the pope and the grand imam rebuilt the once-icy relationship between the Vatican and the top Sunni institute, Al-Azhar University.

Links from the show:

Gerard O’Connell: An inside look at how Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar have revolutionized Catholic-Muslim relations

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