"Weltbild," Germany's largest media company, sells books, DVDs, music and more -- and 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 porn.
A Church spokesman responded: "Weltbild tries to prevent the distribution of possibly pornographic content."
Well, it's prevention efforts have apparently not been so successful. 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!).