Source: Yahoo! News
Wire Service: AP
On April 25, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "[Pope] Benedict [XVI] officially began his pontificate Sunday during a solemn installation Mass that drew about 400,000 people to the Vatican area, including many world and religious leaders. The pope met Monday with the religious leaders who had attended, and told Muslim representatives in particular that he wanted to continue building 'bridges of friendship' that he said could foster peace in the world...In the homily Sunday, Benedict specifically mentioned Jews — but not Muslims — and reached out to other Christians, calling several times for full communion of Christians. On Monday, the pope told ecumenical leaders he fully supports the need to work toward uniting Christians and said their presence at his installation was a good sign. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said afterward that he was 'encouraged by the way Pope Benedict went out of his way to underline the commitment to ecumenism.' In Moscow, the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, said a visit by Benedict to Russia would be possible only after the two churches resolve longtime differences."