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Pope: African church must work with Islam

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Pope: African church must work with Islam
Pope Benedict XVI stands in front of the Stone of Anointing,where Christians believe the body of Jesus was prepared for burial, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on May 15, 2009. (UPI Photo/Yannis Behrakis/Pool) | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, April 30 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI told a delegation of African bishops the Roman Catholic Church on the continent must work with Muslims and members of other religions.

In an audience Thursday at the Vatican with bishops from Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the pope urged them to "continue to promote dialogue with other religions and above all with Islam," the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

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"This is necessary in order to preserve current good relations and prevent all forms of intolerance, injustice or oppression, which damage the promotion of mutual trust," Benedict said. "Working together in defense of life, against hunger and disease, builds understanding, respect and acceptance."

But he also urged the bishops to promote the Catholic view of marriage as an institution for the lifelong union of one man and one woman.

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