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Italian Muslims invite Pope Francis to visit Grand Mosque of Rome
Thursday January 21, 2016 6:53 PM, IINA

A delegation of Italian Muslims on Wednesday personally invited Pope Francis to visit the Grand Mosque of Rome, thought to be the largest mosque in the Western world, National Catholic Register news reported.

The Pope thanked the delegation for the invitation, presented to him in the Paul VI hall after this morning’s general audience, but has yet to agree to visit. If he does so, Francis will be the first pope to visit the Rome mosque, which was inaugurated in 1995 with the funding from Saudi Arabia.

The Muslim delegation included Imam Yahya Pallavicini of the Islamic Community of Italy (ICI), Abdallah Redouane, director of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy (ICCI), and Saudi Arabian Ambassador Rayed Khaled Krimly. They were accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Speaking to the Italian news agency SIR, Pallavicini said the meeting was “very positive and friendly”.

He said the Pope “referred to rights that must be reciprocated between Christians and Muslims” and which must be the “foundation of brotherhood, of friendship and of serious cooperation.”

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