Pope Benedict said on Wednesday his use in a speech of medieval quotes critical of Islam, which infuriated Muslims worldwide, did not reflect his own convictions and were misunderstood.
Muslims wanted the Pope to make a clear apology for quoting 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus in a speech in Germany last week, saying everything the Prophet Mohammad brought was evil, “Such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.
At his weekly public audience in the Vatican, the
German-born Pope, speaking in Italian, repeated his earlier remarks that the crisis was caused by a “Misunderstanding.”
'My intention was very different'
“But for the careful reader of my text it is clear that I in no way wanted to make mine the negative words pronounced by the medieval emperor and their polemical content does not reflect my personal conviction,” the Pope said.
“My intention was very different. I wanted to explain that religion and violence do not go together but religion and reason do,” he said.
The 79-year-old leader of the world’s one billion Roman Catholics said he hoped the whole furore could eventually serve to encourage “Positive and even self-critical dialogue, both among religions as well as between modern reason and the faith of Christians.”