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Iran: Vatican envoy summoned to Foreign Ministry

Tehran, Sept 17, IRNA-Vatican Ambassador to Tehran Cardinal Angelo Michela was summoned to Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday when the Iranians' severe anxiety on and objection to the anti-Islam statements of Pope Benedict XVI were passed on to him.

The head of Catholic Church quoted a 14th century Christian emperor criticizing Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), while addressing the staff and students of University of Regensburg in a six-day visit to his Bavarian homeland.

In his remarks, Pope Benedict XVI implicitly pointed to the interconnection between Islam and violence.

According to a report released by the Foreign Ministry Media Department, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for West Europe Ibrahim Rahimpour underlined, "As a religious and spiritual leader, Pope was not expected to speak out the same issues voiced by President George W. Bush on the anniversary of September 11 attacks.

"On the one hand, Pope speaks of dialogue among religions and cultures as well as respecting the beliefs and sanctities of followers of other faiths, but on the other his actions and words are quite contrary to such remarks.

"Contrary to the deceleration that his statements have been misinterpreted falsely, it is obvious that the world of Islam has a joint understanding that his remarks have been insulting and that he should be more aware of his religious and political responsibilities," he added.

Turning to the concern and resentment of the world of Islam over Pope's remarks, the Foreign Ministry official said that only his personal apology can compensate such a misunderstanding.

For his part, Michela said that Pope Benedict XVI did not intend to insult Muslims rather he wanted to urge the need for dialogue among cultures, religions and civilizations without violence.

Regretting the present situation, he added that Pope believes in dialogue among religions and civilizations.

"Vatican's policy has not changed at all and he is scheduled to clarify the issue in a lecture to be delivered today," added Cardinal Michela.

... Payvand News - 9/17/06 ... --

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