Pope Benedict apologizes for "sounding offensive" to Muslims

Saturday, September 16, 2006

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Pope Benedict XVI

In Tuesday's speech the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things. The comment created angry protests among the Muslim community. Today, Vatican secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone issued a statement that quotes "The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers". Bertone added that the Pope is sorry that his statements had been "badly interpreted".

Various street demonstrations have been held in Pakistan, India, Turkey and Gaza in the past days. Moreover, some leading religious leaders and politicians have criticised the remarks. Some rejected the pope's statement, claiming that it did not go far enough (Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood).