The Pontiff makes an apology

Pope Benedict the Sixteenth says he is very sorry about the comments he made that were deemed offensive by many Muslims around the world.

On Tuesday in Germany, Benedict quoted a fourteenth century Christian emperor who said some of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad were “evil and inhuman”. Benedict maintains he was quoting a text which did not reflect his personal opinion. The Pontiff offered an apology at his first public appearance since making comments about Islam.

His apology received a mixed response in the Muslim world. The Turkish government said the Pope is now welcome to visit the country as originally planned in November.

But Egypt's influential Muslim Brotherhood says the apology is not clear enough, while an influential Qatari cleric called for Friday to be a day of anger.

On Sunday morning violence continued with at least two christian churches firebombed in the West Bank. Fresh protests erupted in Egypt, Indonesia and Iran.

The Pope has expressed hope his apology will help calm the situation.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin urged world religious leaders to avoid any tensions after days of protests across the Middle East and Asia. He announced: “We understand just how sensitive this sphere is.  I think it would be correct to call for responsiblity and restraint on leaders of all world confessions and i hope the leaders of the main world confessions will have enough force and wisdom to avoid any extreme positions in relations between confessions.”