Vatican City The Vatican, bowing to the growing furor over Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to accept a return to the church of a prelate who denied the Holocaust, made a dramatic turnaround Wednesday and demanded the bishop recant.
The Vatican sought to distance the pope from the controversy by saying he did not know about British Bishop Richard Williamson’s views when he agreed to lift his excommunication last month.
In the surprisingly public spat, some leading cardinals in Germany and at the Vatican blamed unidentified aides for not fully briefing the pope.
The controversy provided a rare look at the cracks in the Vatican’s facade of unity and raised questions about the advice the pope receives and his access to information. Papal aides say Benedict, a former university professor and theologian, receives a daily news summary and occasionally watches television.