Archbishop to attend theological summit in Gulf
The Archbishop of Canterbury is to fly to the Gulf next week for a theological summit of Christian and Muslim leaders, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Dr Rowan Williams is leading a Christian delegation to a three-day seminar with Islamic scholars in Qatar, a few miles from the headquarters of the coalition's Central Command.
The conference is designed to smooth the often fraught relations between the faiths, and Dr Williams has been anxious to reassure Muslims that the war in Iraq is not a Christian crusade.
But the Telegraph suggests that government ministers will be anxious that he does not use the largely academic event, which has been planned for more than a year, to intensify his criticism of the conflict or raise concerns about its aftermath.
Speculation was growing last night that another member of the delegation, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, would visit British troops during the conference.
Bishop Nazir-Ali is one of only three Church of England bishops to have broken ranks with colleagues by lending his moral support to the conflict.
The conference, which opens on Monday, is being held in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state, and is being hosted by the Emir of Qatar.
It follows a two-day gathering at Lambeth Palace last January last year which was attended by Tony Blair and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.