News about Pope’s unprecedented meeting between Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, Cairo and Pope Francis was revealed by the Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi. “This audience is being prepared and has been scheduled for Monday. It will be a first,” Fr. Lombardi said.
Earlier in 2011, Al Tayeb had suspended a meeting with the Holy See on behalf of Al Azhar University in 2011. Benedict XVI had called for the meeting to speak for the protection of Christian minorities following a bomb attack on a church in Alexandria. But the situations had changed with the election of Pope Francis.