“The pastoral visit which I recently made to Bavaria was a deep spiritual experience, bringing together personal memories linked to places well known to me and pastoral initiatives towards an effective proclamation of the gospel for today.
“I thank God for the interior joy which he made possible, and I am also grateful to all those who worked hard for the success of this pastoral visit. As is the custom, I will speak more of this during next Wednesday’s general audience.
“At this time, I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibilities of Muslims.
“These in fact were a quotation from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought.
“Yesterday, the cardinal secretary of state published a statement in this regard in which he explained the true meaning of my words.
“I hope that this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.”
The full text of Pope Benedict’s original speech at the University of Regensburg can be read on the Vatican website.