Politico apparently fires journalist for tweet insulting late Pope Benedict

Writer called late pontiff "homophobic pedophile protector and Hitler Youth alumnus."

Updated: January 10, 2023 - 10:38am

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News website Politico has apparently fired a journalist who wrote and then quickly deleted a tweet mocking the late Catholic pontiff Pope Benedict XVI shortly after his death. 

Cybersecurity reporter Eri Geller on Dec. 31 had tweeted that Benedict, whose death had just been announced, was a "homophobic pedophile protector and Hitler Youth alumnus." Geller subsequently deleted the tweet, calling it "offensive and in poor judgment."

Politico, meanwhile, appears to have dismissed the writer from his position at the company. 

Geller's Twitter, LinkedIn and personal web pages all indicate he is no longer working at Politico, Fox News reported on Tuesday.

Politico spokesman Brad Dayspring had earlier foreshadowed Geller's possible dismissal, tweeting after Geller's remarks that the writer's tweet had been "a clear violation of our social media policy and was both inaccurate and offensive."

Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger, was indeed part of the Hitler Youth organization, though all 14-year-old boys were required to join the group after 1939, and family members have said he was a reluctant member due to the Ratzinger family's strong opposition to Nazism.