Last week the mainstream media outed the fact that the German bishops are 100% owners in 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 turnover. Its 2500 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 activist 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.”
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
Congregation for Bishops
Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10