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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

'Deep Respect' For Islam

Wednesday September 20, 2006

The Pope has made a fresh attempt to quell worldwide Muslim anger over remarks he made about Islam.

He said he has "deep respect" for Islam and hoped his comments would lead to dialogue among religions.

Pope Benedict XVI was speaking to the faithful outside the Vatican in St Peter's Square, Rome.

In his weekly address he said: "I hope ... my deep respect for great religions, in particular for Muslims ... has emerged clearly.

"I trust that after the initial reaction, my words ... can constitute an impulse and encouragement toward positive, even self-critical dialogue."

This would be "both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith".

The Pope caused a furore when he quoted a Mediaeval text that described the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman".

He made the reference in a debate at the university of Regensburg in Germany.

Back in Rome on Sunday he said he "deeply regretted" the upset he had caused.

He also emphasised the offending text in no way reflected his own opinions.

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