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Pattaya Daily News

26 September 2006 :: 15:09:41 pm 32336

Pope Benedict reconciles Muslim and Islamic leaders

Pope Benedict XVI expressed "total and profound respect for all Muslims" at a meeting Monday with ambassadors from Muslim nations and other Islamic leaders.
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            The meeting at the pope‘s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, was called in an effort to patch up relations following controversial comments he made earlier this month. 

            Pope Benedict told the ambassadors that he would “continue to consolidate the strong ties of friendship with the faithful of all religions and particular (with) respect to the dialogue between Muslims and Christians.” 

            “I would like today to stress my total and profound respect for all Muslims.” 

            About 20 ambassadors attended the meeting — including representatives from Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco, as well as members of Italy‘s Muslim community. 

            Iraq‘s diplomat to Vatican said after Monday‘s meeting with Benedict that “it is now time to put what happened behind (us) and build bridges, 

            A papal spokesman said the meeting is a sign that dialogue is returning to normal with the Muslim community after a controversial speech the pope made two weeks ago in Germany that included a 14th-century emperor‘s thoughts about Islam. Benedict has made a series of increasingly apologetic statements since then. 

The medieval emperor‘s “negative words” did not “express my personal convictions,” Benedict said. 

            The pope, who on September 17 expressed 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.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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