Vatican City Pope Benedict XVI met Thursday with representatives of a Jewish group and said religion should never be used to justify hatred and violence.
"May the eternal one, our father in heaven, bless every effort to eliminate from our world any misuse of religion as an excuse for hatred or violence," Benedict told a delegation of the Anti-Defamation League, a U.S. group that fights racism and anti-Semitism.
The comments came a month after Benedict's speech at a German university sparked anger in the Muslim world when he quoted a medieval text that characterized some of the Prophet Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman" and called Islam a religion spread by the sword.
Since the uproar about the speech, Benedict has expressed his regrets for offending Muslims.
He has stressed that the quote didn't reflect his opinion, saying his address was intended as an invitation for frank dialogue among religions.