German bishops’ company: It’s not porn, just ‘erotica,’ so we’re suing the ‘slanderers’

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LifeSiteNews.com

Wed Nov 02, 2011 16:36 EST

BY JOHN-HENRY WESTEN

 AUGSBURG, Germany, November 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a press release, the major German publishing company 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 the secular media in Germany reported that the company WELTBILD, 100% of the shares of which are held by German dioceses and the bishops conference, carries 2,500 porn titles. The press also reported that the bishops had ignored the pleas of faithful Catholics who had tried to have the matter corrected internally for a decade.

Following the publication in the German media, LifeSiteNews verified that there were hundreds of pornographic 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.

As one example, one book title cached by LifeSiteNews depicts a photo of a female from the neck to knees, breasts fully exposed and hands over the crotch.  A translation of the German-language teaser of the book reads:

A dark forest and a creature of the night … A strict mistress and a willing slave … a young woman and the desires of her boss … A man who would do anything for his friend … Sensual women reveal their most secret fantasies! And so these stories are extremely, wickedly seductive, uninhibited passion and delicious. There are exciting dreams shamelessly crossing all boundaries! Lustful Dreams – written by women for women!

WELTBILD was also found to be carrying DVD’s that would be deemed pornographic by normal Christian standards, but may not meet a legal definition of hard-core pornography in Germany.

But since the story broke in the German media, the publishing company has been removing offensive pages from its website and disabling search engine functions for searches on its website using words such as ‘erotic.’

“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.”

German Catholic faithful who attempted to work behind the scenes to have the bishops correct the situation say they are incredulous about the ‘shoot the messenger’ tactics the company has taken.

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.”

Catholic observers say they are wondering why, if the profit margin from the “erotic” offerings is so slim, the bishops failed to get rid of the controversial material after years of documented concerns expressed by faithful Catholics.

Ownership of WELTBILD is divided between the Bishops’ Conference (24%), the Archdiocese of Munchen and Freising (13%), the diocese of Augsburg (13%) and 11 other diocese with percentage ownerships ranging from two to seven percent.

Contact information:

German bishops conference

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
His Eminence William Joseph Levada, Cardinal, Prefect
His Excellency Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy
Telephone: 06.69.88.33.57; 06.69.88.34.13
Fax: 06.69.88.34.09
E-mail: cdf@cfaith.va

Congregation for Bishops
Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
Roma, Italia
00193
Phone: 06.69.88.42.17

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Germany: Catholic Church’s $2.3 Billion Store Sells 2500 Pornographic Books

The New Civil Rights Movement

02 November 2011

by DAVID BADASH

in INTERNATIONAL,NEWS,RELIGION

The Catholic Church in Germany owns a $2.3 billion bookseller called  Weltbild, that sells, among other items, 2500 pornographic books, with titles like “Fuckable,” Lawyer’s Whore,” and “Sluts’ Boarding School.” The bookstore owns 20% of the book market in Germany, and is second in book sales only to Amazon. Weltbild is 100% owned by the Catholic Church, and German locals have been trying for a decade to get the Church to stop selling pornography, a direct violation of the Church’s teachings. Weltbild roughly translates into “world image” or “world view.”

“Weltbild tries to prevent the distribution of possibly pornographic content,” a Catholic Church spokesperson told reporters.

“Well, it’s prevention efforts have apparently not been so successful,” states a report in  Worldcrunch, an online news agency. “For more than 10 years, a group of committed 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 questionable material.”

Today, the Augsburg-​based company 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, controlling 20% of the domestic bookstore market. Profits are regularly reinvested in the company with an eye to rapidly increase the market share – an increase that is only possible if Weltbild continues to sell materials that are not compatible with the teachings of the Church.

The 2,500 erotic books in their online catalogue, including those from Blue Panther Books, an erotic book publisher owned by Weltbild, are only one example. Their titles include: “Anwaltshure” (Lawyer’s Whore), “Vögelbar” (F — kable) and “Schlampen-​Internat” (Sluts’ Boarding School).

The Church also owns a 50% share in publishing company Droemer Knaur which produces pornographic books, and so indirectly is also a publisher of pornographic material, titles including “Nimm mich hier und nimm mich jetzt!” (Take Me Here, Take Me Now!), and “Sag Luder zu mir!” (Call Me Slut!).

___________________________

German Bishops caught in massive porn scandal – why didn’t they listen to the faithful?

Mon Oct 31, 2011 18:26 EST

LifeSiteNews.com

BY JOHN-HENRY WESTEN

 COLOGNE, October 31, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After ten years of being internally warned by faithful Catholics, including in a 70-page dossier sent to all of Germany’s main bishops, the scandal of the German bishops’ ownership of a publishing company that sells a large volume of porn has hit the mainstream media. 
                                                                  
Last week the mainstream media outed the fact that the German bishops are 100% owners of one of the most profitable book companies in Germany.  The huge company, in addition to offering many religious and other ethical books and items, also peddles 2500 porn titles and additional books highly offensive to Christian principles. 

A spokesman for the bishops promised immediate corrective action. However, the false pretense of ignorance about the situation has only served to add to the scandal, especially for faithful Catholics who were treated with silence and even disdain when they repeatedly attempted for years to bring the scandal to an end out of public view.

WELTBILD, is the second largest bookselling company in Germany. It is wholly owned by the German bishops and has a $1.7 billion annual turnover.  Its 2,500 porn titles (with covers too sexually explicit to reproduce) include perverse sexual fantasy of every type. WELTBILD also sells books promoting Satanism, the occult, esoterism, and anti-Christian atheist propaganda.

More than that, the bishops are also 50% owners in another company – Ver-lagsgruppe Droemer Knaur – which actually produces the pornographic novels.

German Catholic author Gabriele Kuby, who has for years pointed out to bishops various shortcomings in the Catholic Church in her nation, said that the worst thing about the current public scandal is the hypocrisy.  Each of the affected bishops received 70 pages of documentation in 2008 detailing the fact that the publishing company was selling the pornographic titles, Kuby told LifeSiteNews.  She noted that most bishops ignored the communications, not even bothering to reply. The Archdiocese of Munich did reply, said Kuby, but she says their response was “arrogant and spiteful.”

In reaction to questioning from the mainstream press, church officials claimed it was a filtering problem which resulted in the oversight, adding that the matter will be dealt with.

Another faithful Catholic, Bernhard Mueller, the editor-in-chief of the Catholic magazine PUR, was himself involved in trying to have the bishops resolve the scandal internally.  Now, PUR’s front page story covering the current state of affairs is titled “Bishops as porn producers.”

In his coverage of the now-public scandal, Mueller describes the 10-year-long attempt to convince the bishops to take action on the matter.  He concludes: “But over the years, all internal efforts to bring the scandal have come to nothing.”

The reaction from the public, as can be seen in reader comments beneath the mainstream media reports, has been to ridicule the Catholic Church.  Mueller summed up the public view succinctly with the phrase: “Preach chastity and sell pornography.”

2 Responses to German bishops’ company: It’s not porn, just ‘erotica,’ so we’re suing the ‘slanderers’

  1. Sylvia says:

    So, amongst the many sad realities, here is another: These ‘problems’ are rarely of ever cleaned up out of public view. It’s not until things go public that action, however minuscule is taken. I often say the bishops take action kicking and screaming all the way. Well, here we go again. For ten years a group of German Catholics have been trying ot get the German bishops to stop peddling porn or erotica or whatever you wan tot call it. Nothing!

    Now the scandal has burst into the domain – big time action.

    But, my oh my don’t they know the law! It’s not porn: it’s “erotica”!

    These are Bishops?!

    They have the audacity to even consider suing those who said they were peddling porn?

    It was just ‘erotica’?!!!

    Wasn’t it one this gang who, a few short years ago, saw no problem in a priest bedding down with a young lad?

    They do know how to dance on the head of a legal pin. When it comes to money in and money out, and defending the indefensible, they can dance.

    A disgusting hypocritical lot.

  2. Tim Dooling says:

    Sylvia, it seems at times it is a losing battle. We see these Bishops, Archbishops, some Cardinals making their own rules but not living what they preach, and we come near despair!
    The 12 Apostles were described as mostly unlearned men- not scholarly- like this collection of betrayers of Christ. Give me the unlearned any day over these traitors !
    Again we have to remember God is still in charge and a day of reckoning is not far away for these clown princes.
    I was just thinking this reminds me eerily of the current economic cricis in the Eurozone. Those old , better than us (they think) societies have bankrupted themselves financially, and Spiritually- and the piper is demanding payment.
    Shocking to know that if China called in the US debt to them, the US would be bankrupt.
    But, we all have to pay the piper at some unknown day- and it comes for all of us.
    It has been Pride which breeds Greed, which gets corruption, and destruction of morality. Their earthly titles are so much garbage, they will smell up Hell when they get there !
    The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Italy and France have for centuries lived an un-Godly lifestyle. We know the sins against purity have been magnified in those cultures for years. North Americans in some respects seem to be trying to catch up to them because they envy them, their titles, their accents, and their acceptance as being a cultured bunch. God help us, soon,PLEASE !

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