Sabbath 22/02/32/120


Dear Friends,

In an article in the Jerusalem Post, dated 12 May 2009 and updated 13 May 2009, titled, 'Pope was reluctant Hitler Youth', it was stated that: “Pope Benedict XVI was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a teenage seminary student, but was ideologically opposed to the movement”. The Vatican Spokesman who made the statement was Rev. Federico Lombardi. The article went on to quote Frederico Lombardi.

"There was a time when the pope was a young seminary student that he was obligated to join the Hitler Jugend," Lombardi told The Jerusalem Post. "He was forced to miss seminary studies occasionally, but he opposed Nazi ideology and got out as soon as he could."

Lombardi's comments followed remarks he had made earlier on Tuesday to the effect that the pope had never been in the paramilitary organization tied to the Nazi Party.

Reuters quoted Lombardi as saying that the German-born Benedict had been a member of an anti-aircraft unit drafted between 1944 and 1945, but that these units "had absolutely nothing to do with the Hitler Youth and the Nazis and Nazi ideology."

Furthermore, Lombardi was quoted as saying, "The pope was never in the Hitler Youth - never, never, never."

The spokesman further stressed, "It is important to say what is true and not to say false things about a very sensitive thing like this."

Indeed the truth is very important.

The Jerusalem Post went on to say that Benedict XVI, long before he became pope, addressed this issue. He stated that his membership in the Hitler Youth as a teenager was not voluntary, but compulsory, and that he was given a dispensation from Hitler Youth activities because of his religious studies. He also stated that he had deserted his anti-aircraft unit during the war.

Also, the pope's father was an anti-Nazi policeman.” (sic)

It went on to note that, “In the 1997 book Salt of the Earth, the pope - then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - was asked whether he was ever in the Hitler Youth.

‘At first we weren't,’ he said, speaking of himself and his older brother, ‘but when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced in 1941, my brother was obliged to join. I was still too young, but later as a seminarian, I was registered in the Hitler Youth. As soon as I was out of the seminary, I never went back. And that was difficult because the tuition reduction, which I really needed, was tied to proof of attendance at the Hitler Youth. ‘

‘Thank goodness there was a very understanding mathematics professor,’ he continued. ‘He himself was a Nazi, but an honest man, and said to me, 'Just go once to get the document so we have it...' When he saw that I simply didn't want to, he said, 'I understand, I'll take care of it' and so I was able to stay free of it.’ “

The Post notes that, “He reiterated this in his memoirs, printed in 1998.”

Now there are some serious problems with these assertions. It is rather like the elephant in the room. Even the Post stops short of stating the obvious.
Roman Catholic Seminaries are run and controlled by the Roman Catholic Church. People who go to seminaries are being trained by Roman Catholics to become Roman Catholic Priests. Indeed that is the procedural way of entering the Roman Catholic priesthood.

CCG has a number of seminary-trained ministers who did not enter the Roman Catholic priesthood. It would not be suggested by any of them that they were in the seminary for any purpose other than joining the order of the priesthood for which they were training.

The conclusion is thus a matter of pure logic. The seminary to which Benedict XVI belonged was either, a branch of the RC Church that not only consisted of active Nazis but also required all its seminarians to belong to the Hitler Youth and serve in active units, or some other institution acting as a seminary or preparatory seminary. It thus can be concluded that membership of the party and Hitler Youth was not only condoned by the Roman Catholic Church, but also service in the Hitler Youth was in fact mandatory in its seminary, or it was mandatory in educational institutions preparatory to its university entrance for ordination purposes, and for and about which the church remained silent for years.

Given the usual meaning of the word “seminary”, it is a matter of absurdity to suggest that there were others in the seminary that were not interested in the priesthood and religion, as the purpose of a seminary can be one of three things:

  1. A piece of ground to raise seedlings or plants (1829) or the place where animals are bred or from where they are supplied (1625);
  2. A place where something, either a science or virtue or vice is taught or cultivated (1592);
  3. A place to educate people; i.e., a school, college, or university in which a particular class of persons is trained (1604), usually with a qualifier such as “science” or “theological”; and the usual meaning, which is a place to train priests.

It is also a serious crime to desert one’s unit in time of war.

It seems that the inference is being given that the seminary was secular and there were other than priests being trained there. This would be the equivalent of the Gymnasium at Munich being understood as a university where the word “gymnasium” was used in its ancient and variable meaning.

His biography is silent on the seminary. It merely states:
“During the last months of the war he was enrolled in an auxiliary anti-aircraft corps.

From 1946 to 1951 he studied philosophy and theology in the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology of Freising and at the University of Munich.

He received his priestly ordination on 29 June 1951.”

From this we might deduce that the training he received in the last years of the war was from a senior High School and this was the “seminary” to which he referred. For this to be the case it would most probably have been a Roman Catholic preparatory High School for seminarians, for entry to the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology at Freising, and the University of Munich.

All of these statements have an air of unreality about them. It is as though the ancient meaning of a seminary, as a sponsored educational institution, is applied in some indirect way to the institution that Benedict XVI attended. However, his biography is silent on it, although it makes claims that the Nazis beat the parish priest before mass, which is of itself, strange.
Benedict XVI went to Jerusalem and failed to address two fundamental issues let alone try to make amends for them. He failed to:

  1. Express regret for Roman Catholic Church support of the Nazis when it is well documented that they did support the Nazis, as did the Lutherans, and assisted the escape of war criminals afterwards; and
  1. express regret for the centuries of anti-Semitism taught from the pulpit of the RC Churches everywhere and the systematic discrimination against not only Jews but also any Christian trying diligently to follow the Bible and biblical law.

On 13 May 2009 the Jerusalem Post published another article concerning these two aspects, and mentioned the complicity of Pius XII in failing to address the Holocaust or in offering some censure of Catholics behaving in such a despicable way.

That article said:
“While the pope spoke with great empathy about the fate of the victims of the Holocaust and specifically expressed the hope that ‘their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten,’ there were two critical elements that were totally missing from his remarks.

The first was any reference to the perpetrators and their guilt. Given that the pope grew up in Nazi Germany and even served briefly in the Wehrmacht, it was unthinkable that he did not even mention the Nazi war criminals, among them numerous Catholics, who committed the crimes of the Holocaust. And while there is absolutely no basis for any allegations against him for war crimes, we expect him, as a major spiritual leader, to directly address the issue of culpability. One of the central lessons of the Shoah is that it was not a natural disaster like an earthquake, tsunami or volcano, but the doing of human beings - among them many members of his own flock.

In that respect, Benedict's failure to express any regret or apology for centuries of anti-Semitic teachings that paved the way for the Holocaust, or for the failure of the Catholic Church and Pius to do more to unequivocally condemn Nazi atrocities and to save Jews from death during the Shoah, is also extremely unfortunate. There is no doubt that a more courageous stance by church leaders, both in the Vatican as well as locally, could have had a strong impact. This is especially true for Catholic countries like Lithuania, Croatia, Slovakia (whose President Josef Tiso was a Catholic priest), Poland and others where the church had considerable moral authority and local Catholics were among the mass murderers - not to mention in Germany and Austria.”

It should also be noted that the Franciscan priests of the RC Church were running the terrible death camp in Croatia. See

Whilst Benedict XVI was in Jerusalem, he gave an assurance that the RC Church would stop proselytizing Jews. However, he failed completely to deal with his churches complicity in the Holocaust and in the promulgation of anti-Semitism generally.

While this man and his priests and church continue to refuse to admit their complicity and apologise for it, anti-Semitism will continue.

In so doing anyone who follows biblical law will be likewise persecuted with the same attitude. No one is safe from it. Please pray for their repentance and that they might see and turn to God and be restored.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General