Muslim representatives at Vatican to prepare for papal audience in 2008

A group of Muslim scholars who have called for greater dialogue with Christians began two days of talks Tuesday with Vatican officials to prepare for what church officials have said would be a historic audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The group includes representatives of 138 Muslim scholars and intellectuals who wrote to Benedict and other Christian leaders last year urging Christians and Muslims to develop their common ground of belief in one God. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, is hosting the representatives to lay the groundwork for a papal audience expected sometime later this year, Vatican officials said Tuesday. No date had been set.