. . . The pope, who on Sunday said he was “deeply sorry” for the reaction to comments he made, said Wednesday the emperor’s words did not reflect how he himself felt. He said the intent of his remarks were to call for a dialogue on the role of religions in modern life.
“I hope that in several occasions during the visit … my deep respect for great religions, in particular for Muslims — who worship the one God and with whom we are engaged in defending and promoting together social justice, moral values, peace and freedom for all men — has emerged clearly,” Benedict said during his weekly audience at the Vatican.
“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.
On Sunday the pope said he hoped his remarks and the Vatican’s explanation Saturday were enough 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.”