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Implicit variable "exception" is null

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I am new to jsp/servlets and I came across the following problem (Tomcat 4.1.18 + Apache 2.0 + RedHat 8.0):
I would like all errors & exceptions to go to the following generic error page:
----------- /error-pages/error.jsp ---------
<%@ page isErrorPage="true" %>
Oops! We got an exception:<br>
if (exception != null)
out.print("Just an error");
So, in my web.xml file I added the following entry:
Now, when a servlet throws an exception (in fact, it re-throws any exception thrown inside it, by wrapping it into a ServletException) via
// some code ...
catch(Exception e){
throw new ServletException(e);
the container correctly redirects to error.jsp . The problem is that the implicit variable "exception" that should be available to this page is null. Can anyone tell me why it is so? And is there any way to fix this and access the information about the thrown exception from the error page?
I have seen many postings with a problem similar to mine, but none of them seemed to have any resolutions.
Thanks a lot!
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