Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pope Reiterates Remorse Over 'Misunderstanding'

Pope Benedict XVI once again clarified his comments on Islam, last week, saying they were misunderstood. He was addressing a large crowd of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square for the general audience.

Pope Benedict once more sought to clarify his comments on Islam that caused outrage and anger in the Muslim world. Addressing thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, he said the subject of his speech at the University of Regensburg, in Germany, was the relationship between faith and reason.

But he acknowledged that his words were open to misinterpretation.

"I included a quotation between religion and violence," he said. "This quotation unfortunately was misunderstood. In no way did I wish to make my own the words of the Medieval emperor."

The quotation described some of the teachings by the Prophet Mohammed as "evil" and "inhuman."

Pope Benedict also said Wednesday he hopes that, after the initial reaction, his words will lead to positive and even critical self-dialogue among religions.

"I hope that my profound respect for world religions and for Moslems, who worship the one God, and with them we promote peace, liberty and social justice and moral values for the benefit of all humanity is clear," the pope said.

Sunday, Pope Benedict said that he was "deeply sorry" over the reactions to his comments and that they did not reflect his own opinions. Not all in the Islamic world were satisfied by the pope's statement of regret.

Muslim anger turned violent, following the Pope's words. Churches were firebombed in the Middle East and papal effigies burned. Security has been stepped up around the Vatican.