Vatican envoy apologises over comments

PUTRAJAYA - Vatican Apostolic Nuncio (ambassador) to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, has explained to the Foreign Minister that it was never his intention to meddle in the country's internal affairs.

In a statement, Wisma Putra said Marino had also apologised for the misunderstandings and inconvenience that his comments over the "Allah" issue could have caused.

It said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had called in Marino yesterday over his views on the matter.

"The minister drew the attention of the Archbishop that the views he expressed in the media had caused a controversy and created strong public reaction.

"He was advised to be mindful of the religious sensitivities of the host country and that the issue he commented on was still with the Court of Appeal," it said.

Marino, said Wisma Putra, had then explained that it was never his intention to meddle in the internal affairs of Malaysia.

It said Marino also reaffirmed his support for inter-faith dialogue, including Malaysia's initiative on the Global Movement of Moderates.

Marino had drawn the wrath of MusĀ­lim non-governmental organisations when he said last week that the fact sheet presented by the Christian Federation of Malaysia on the use of the word "Allah" was sensible and logical.