Pope Benedict XVI said on Sunday he was "deeply sorry" about the angry reaction sparked by his speech about Islam and holy war and said the text 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.
He noted that the Vatican secretary of state on Saturday had issued a statement trying to explain his words, which he delivered on Tuesday in a speech during a pilgrimage to his native Germany.
"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."
Speaking about his pilgrimage last week, he said, "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 sensibility of Muslims."