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Catholic Church wholly owns German pornographic publishing house


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Controversy erupted in Germany this week with revelations about the Catholic Church's ownership of Weltbild, one of the world's largest pornographic publishing groups. The Church originally purchased Weltbild during the early years of the papacy of John Paul II (1978-2005) and gradually transformed it into one of Germany's largest media companies that every year sells hundreds of thousands of erotic books from its 2500 titles.

To arrive at such a level, millions and millions of offerings and money transfers by the church have gone up in smoke. As far as the German bishops are concerned, Weltbild represents a kind of bank. Over the years, they have invested nearly 182 million Euros in church dues. (The Independent, November 13th, 2011).

Bishops buy-up pornographic publishing houses

In 1998, and with the help of millions of dollars in a Church tax levied on believers, the company merged with five publishing houses of the Georg von Holtzbrinck group and became the Droemer&Knaur's publishing corporation that specializes in producing pornographic material.

German bishops currently hold 50% of Droemer & Knaur's, which means that they are no longer just peddlers of erotic and pornographic material (through Weltbild), they are now also producers.??(The Independent).

Another Catholic acquisition was Blue Panther Books, which was excluded from the list of participating publishers at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair allegedly because of the pornographic content of its titles.

A 30-year marriage between bishops, dioceses, sex, money and power

The revelations were made in Buchreport, an industry newsletter, and then reported in a German newspaper, Die Welt. It was revealed that Weltbild has 6,400 employees and an annual turnover of 1.7 billion, and is Germany's largest bookseller after Amazon.

On November 13th, 2011, Vatican Insider reported that members of the Weltbild board include representatives from twelve German Catholic dioceses and the Verband der Dizesen Deutschlands (VDD or the Association of German Dioceses). The latter is a consortium of all the German episcopates, established to oversee mutual matters of law and finance. Shareholders of the Weltbild company include the Dioceses of Trier, Aachen, Bamburg, Eichstott, Fulda, Freiburg, Munster, Passau, Regensburg, Trier and Worzburg and the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising.

The largest shareholdings are in the hands of, amongst others, the Association of German Dioceses (24.2%), the Archbishopric of Munich and Freising (13.2%) and the Diocese of Trier (11.7%). However, all German bishops are in fact co-owners of Weltbild, through their membership in the Association of German Dioceses.

Pornography published with full consent of leading bishops

The Independent reported that Weltbild's managing director, Carel Haff, was quoted as saying that the revelation had provoked a very intense and critical dialogue within the company. Catholic bishops responded with a statement claiming that a filtering system failure at the publishing house had allowed the books to stray on to the market. We will put a stop to the distribution of possibly pornographic content in future, they said. But Bernhard Mller, editor of the Catholic magazine PUR, dismissed the cleric's reaction as grossly hypocritical. He alleged that the pornography scandal at Weltbild had been going on for at least a decade with the Church's full knowledge.

Mr. Mller said that in 2008, a group of concerned Catholics had sent bishops a 70-page document containing irrefutable evidence that Weltbild published books that promoted pornography, Satanism and magic. They demanded that the publisher withdraw the titles. But their protests appear to have been completely ignored. Writing in the Die Welt newspaper, Mr. Mller said most of the bishops refused to respond to the charges.The sudden proclaimed astonishment of many church leaders that pornographic material is being distributed by their publishing house, is play acting -- bad play acting, Mr. Mller said.

Believers have been complaining to their bishops about this for years (The Independent). Complaints were also made to the Vatican, and it is inconceivable to think that the late Pope John Paul II, and now the current pope, German-born Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), did not know about one of the Church's pornographic divisions operating in Germany. These revelations come at a time when Germany's Catholic community is still in shock from the recent revelation of hundreds of cases of sexual and physical abuse of children by German priests and church employees, and believers are leaving the Church in the thousands.

http://www.worldcrunch.com/catholic-church-makes-fortune-german-porn-business/culture-society/catholic-church-makes-a-fortune-in-the-german-porn-business/c3s3995/#.UG5bVpG9KK0

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