Video: Pope speaks out again on Islam

updated 9/20/2006 8:30:57 AM ET 2006-09-20T12:30:57

Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he has “deep respect” for Islam and hopes that his recent remarks that sparked anger from Muslims lead to dialogue among religions.

“I hope that ... my deep respect for great religions, in particular for Muslims ... has emerged clearly,” the pope said during his weekly audience at the Vatican.

Speaking last week at the University of Regensburg in his native Germany, Benedict cited a Medieval text that characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman,” particularly “his command to spread by the sword the faith.”

“I trust that after the initial reaction, my words at the University of Regensburg can constitute an impulse and encouragement toward positive, even self-critical dialogue both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith,” the pope told thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday. Security in the square had been stepped up.

Benedict said Sunday that he was “deeply sorry” about the reaction to his remarks, and the quoted text did not reflect his own opinions.

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