POPE BENEDICT XVI said on Sunday he was “deeply sorry” about the angry reaction to his recent remarks about Islam and holy war, saying the text he quoted did not reflect his personal opinion.
“These (words) were in fact a quotation from a medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thought,” Benedict told pilgrims at his summer palace outside Rome. “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 sensibility of Muslims,” he said.
It was unclear whether his words would end the backlash. The deputy leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Habib, initially said it was “a sufficient apology”, but later said: “It does not rise to the level of a clear apology and, based on this, we're calling on the pope of the Vatican to issue a clear apology that will decisively end any confusion.”
On Tuesday, the pope had cited the words of a Byzantine emperor who characterised some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman” — remarks that touched off widespread anger across the Muslim world.