POPE VISITS FAMED ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY

VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II met with Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the head of the renowned Al-Azhar University, during his first evening in Egypt on February 24.

"We found ourselves on agreement on some fundamental points," the sheikh told reporters after his meeting with the Pontiff. He listed their agreement on the origin of the human race, the importance of religious faith for human happiness, and the need to develop human potential. "The future will depend on dialogue and relations among different religious cultures," he added.

Sheikh Tantawi met the Pope in a red marble parlor in the Al-Azhar University, which is the most famous institution of learning in the world of Islam. He was accompanied by about 40 other Islamic scholars, all dressed in their traditional robes.

Pope John Paul spoke in English, although his remarks were translated into Arabic for the benefit of the audience. He said that Islam is "the source of a great culture," and that the world must recognize the value of that culture.