Pope Francis said the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, has made him angry and disgusted and that he condemned and rejected permitting the act as a form of freedom of speech.
"Any book considered holy should be respected to respect those who believe in it," the pope said in an interview in the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al Ittihad. "I feel angry and disgusted at these actions."
"Freedom of speech should never be used as a means to despise others and allowing that is rejected and condemned," Pope Francis said.
A man tore up and burned a Quran in Sweden's capital Stockholm last week, resulting in strong condemnation from several states, including Turkey whose backing Sweden needs to gain entry to the NATO military alliance.