VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has made an unusual public acknowledgment of Vatican mistakes and turmoil in his church over an outreach to ultraconservatives that led to his lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop.
In an attempt to end one of the most serious crises of his papacy, he said in a letter that the Vatican must make greater use of the Internet to prevent other controversies. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the letter -- released in six languages -- was "really unusual and deserving of maximum attention."
It recalled Benedict's 2006 apology after his remarks linking Islam to violence caused a storm in the Muslim world. He said then that he was "deeply sorry."
The last time a pope explicitly proclaimed infallibility on matters of faith and morals was in 1950.
The Vatican has said that Benedict did not know that British-born Bishop Richard Williamson was a Holocaust denier when he lifted his excommunication Jan. 24.