By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict has written an “anguished” letter to Church leaders admitting the case of a Holocaust-denying bishop was mishandled and warning the Church risked “devouring itself” with internal squabbles.

In the letter addressed to the world’s bishops, which the Vatican will release on Thursday, the pope also says he was pained by Catholics’ criticism of him and that the Vatican could have foreseen problems if it had used the Internet more.

It is extremely rare in Church history for a pope to have to explain his actions to his bishops after the fact and to acknowledge that things went wrong.

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