Weltbild , Germany's largest media company, sells books, DVDs, music and more. It also happens to belong 100% to the Catholic Church. Few people knew about this connection until this month when Buchreport, a German industry
newsletter, reported that the Catholic company also sells erotica.
A Church spokesman responded to the report by claiming: Weltbild tries to prevent the distribution of possibly pornographic content. Presumably erotic novels aren't seen as pornographic.
For more than 10 years, a group of Catholics has been trying to point out what is going on to Church authorities, and they are 'outraged' at the hypocrisy of the spokesman's statement. In 2008, the group sent a 70-page document to all the bishops
whose dioceses have shared ownership of Weltbild for 30 years, detailing evidence of the sale of erotic books.
Weltbild employs 6,400 people, has an annual turnover of 1.7 billion euros, and an online business in Germany second only to Amazon. Weltbild is also Germany's leading book seller. The 2,500 erotic books in their online catalogue, including those
from Blue Panther Books, an erotic book publisher owned by Weltbild, are one example. Their titles include: Anwaltshure (Lawyer's Whore), Vo gelbar ( Fuckable ) and Schlampen-Internat (Sluts' Boarding
The Church also owns a 50% share in publishing company Droemer Knaur which also produces pornographic books
In a press release, the major German publishing company Weltbild owned by the Catholic Bishops of Germany says the company is considering suing the slanderers who have accused it of profiting from porn, because the erotica sold
on its website does not meet the legal definition of pornography.
Last week media in Germany reported that the company Weltbild, owned by German dioceses and the bishops conference, carries 2,500 porn titles. The press also reported that the bishops had ignored the pleas of Catholics who had tried to halt sales
of erotic book.
Following the publication in the German media, LifeSiteNews verified that there were hundreds of erotic images, mostly book-covers, on the Weltbild site. Some of the covers featured full frontal nudity and explicit photos typical of the covers of
pornographic magazines like Playboy.
Weltbild was also found to be carrying softcore DVD's that would be deemed pornographic by Christian standards, but do not meet the legal definition of hard-core pornography in Germany.
Since the story broke in the German media, the publishing company has been removing supposedly 'offensive' pages from its website and disabling search engine functions for searches on its website using words such as erotic.
The bishops' company press release states that less than 0.02% of its annual turnover comes from the erotic offerings of the company and thus headlines such as Catholic Church makes a fortune with porn are simply untrue and defamatory.
It should be noted, said Weltbild in its press release, that: 'pornography' is a clearly defined legal term. They add that according to that definition, Weltbild offers no pornography and has never done so before.
The pope has called for an end to prostitution and pornography, saying the practices denigrate women and represent a serious lack of humanity.
The pope made the remarks as he welcomed Reinhard Schweppe as Germany's ambassador to the Holy See Nov. 7. The pope's talk focused on the church's role in defending human dignity... and no doubt the issue that the catholic church owned publisher,
Weltbild, has been spotted publishing erotica.
The pope said:
A relationship that does not take into account the fact that a man and a woman have the same dignity represents a serious lack of humanity.
With the materialistic and hedonistic tendencies that seem to be gaining space in the West, there is a growing form of discrimination against women.
The moment has come to energetically halt prostitution as well as the widespread distribution of material with an erotic and pornographic content, including through the Internet in particular.
The pope said the Holy See would encourage and assist the Catholic Church in Germany so efforts against these types of abuse would be more decisive and clearer.
The Catholic church in Germany is to sell Weltbild, its bookselling arm, after the unit admitted last month to publishing erotic novels.
Weltbild is one of Germany's major book publishers. Catholic leaders were outraged that the profitable company's book range included steamy pulp novels with titles like Boarding School for Sluts and The Lawyer's Whore and
advice on how to practise esoteric superstitions.
Germany's 27 bishops met this week to press the 12 bishops who co-owned Weltbild to end the investment after Weltbild defended its commercial policy of publishing whatever books met market demand.
Weltbild said it welcomed the decision to seek new ownership without delay .