Pope: I should have Googled rogue bishop

Pope Benedict XVI has expanded on his controversial decision to lift the 1988 excommunication of four bishops, including Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson.

“The discreet gesture of mercy towards four bishops...suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews,” the Pope wrote in a letter to bishops.

He admits that “consulting the information available on the internet” would have helped “perceive the problem early on” and pledged to use the internet more in the future.

The Pope expressed gratitude to “our Jewish friends, who quickly helped clear up the misunderstanding”.

    Last updated: 1:35pm, March 19 2009