The Vatican has issued a statement after comments made by Pope Benedict XVI in a speech on Tuesday caused offence to Muslims. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, “The Pope very much regrets what happened and is still happening, because it was in no way his intention.”
In his speech, Pope Benedict quoted a 14th Century Christian emporer who said the Prophet Mohammed had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things. The full Vatican statement claims the Pontiff had been misinterpreted and had not meant to offend Muslims.
The comments sparked furious protests across the Muslim world. Some say the statement is not enough and demand a full personal apology. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called the remarks “ugly and unfortunate” and said he did not know if the papal visit to Turkey in November should go ahead. Security will be tight for the Pope’s first public appearance since the comments at his Sunday Angelus blessing.