From the ABC Online:
The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI is "extremely sorry" for offending Muslims with a speech he made on Thursday.
The comments he made in Germany have sparked outrage across the Muslim world.
In his speech, the Pope quoted a 14th century Christian emperor, who said everything Prophet Mohammad brought was "evil and "inhuman", "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".
He also said "violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul" in the oration, in which he used the terms "jihad" and "holy war".
The Vatican's new Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone today said: "The Holy Father is extremely sorry that certain passages of his speech appeared offensive to Muslim believers and were interpreted in a way that does not correspond in any way to his intentions".
"The Pope is unequivocally in favour of dialogue between religions and cultures," he said.
He says the pontiff respects believers in Islam and hopes they will understand the true sense of his speech.
There had been widespread calls from political circles in Islamic countries for Pope Benedict to issue an apology.
In Turkey, the country the Pope is due to visit in November, a senior religious figure said the Pope should reconsider his trip for his own safety.
I hope the issue is now put to rest! Here is the hallmark of a great man who is not afraid to say that 'S' word.