Pope Admits Fault in Holocaust Bishop Flap

Vatican vows to plug into how news spreads online
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2009 3:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – Pope Benedict will release a personal letter to bishops tomorrow that explains why he reinstated an excommunicated Holocaust denier and expresses regret for how that news was delivered, the New York Times reports. In leaked passages, the pontiff admits mistakes and promises greater awareness in the future of how news spreads online. The pope calls his actions “a modest act of mercy.”

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“Instead, it suddenly appeared something completely different: as the denial of reconciliation between Christians and Jews,” he continues. The pope sparked rage by revoking the excommunication of Richard Williamson, a member of the ultraconservative Society of Pius X who denies the existence of Nazi gas chambers. In the letter, Benedict laments that “even Catholics” demonstrated “a hostility ready for the attack.” (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)

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