JERUSALEM, MAY 12, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican spokesman is clarifying that the young Joseph Ratzinger never formed part of the "Hitlerjugend" (the Hitler Youth corps), correcting misinformation reported by the Israeli press.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said at a press conference today in Jerusalem, "I have read something that is not true. The Pope never, never formed part of the Hitlerjugend, which was a corps of fanatic and ideological volunteers."
Father Lombardi saw a need to clarify the facts today as the Israeli press has reacted badly to the Holy Father's address Monday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. They took issue with the Pope having used the word "killed" instead of "murdered," and other similar points.
"Benedict XVI has nothing to do with violence; he is a gentle and humble person, tender. He has never been against the Jews," Father Lombardi continued.