Pope: Islam remarks not my views

Pope Benedict XVI has said his use of medieval quotes critical of Islam, which infuriated Muslims worldwide, did not reflect his own convictions and were misunderstood.

    The pope said he had wanted to encourage 'positive dialogue'

    The pope, who has faced calls for an unequivocal apology to the Muslim world but has so far only said he regrets the offence his words caused, said he hoped the furore could lead to "self-critical" dialogue among faiths and cultures.

    In a speech in Germany last week, the pope quoted 14th-century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus saying everything Prophet Muhammad brought was evil, "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

    At his weekly public audience in the Vatican on Wednesday, the German-born pope, speaking in Italian, said once again that the furore was caused by a "misunderstanding".

    The pope said: "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.
    "My intention was very different. I wanted to explain that religion and violence do not go together, but religion and reason do."

    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".

    SOURCE: Reuters


    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.