Nov 05

Source: Catholic Church faces hardcore porn shame (New Zealand Herald, Nov 5, 2011)

Top Catholic publishers found selling porn novels (Irish Independent, Nov. 05, 2011):

Germany’s biggest Catholic-owned publishing house has been rocked by disclosures that it has been selling thousands of pornographic novels with titles such as ‘Sluts’ Boarding School’ and ‘Lawyer’s Whore’ with the full assent of the country’s leading bishops.

The revelations made in the publishing-industry newsletter ‘Buchreport’ concern Weltbild, a company with an annual €1.7bn turnover and 6,400 employees. It is Germany’s largest bookseller after Amazon and wholly owned by the Catholic Church.

Buchreport revealed that Weltbild’s massive assortment of titles available to customers online includes some 2,500 “erotic” books with unmistakably lewd titles including ‘Call Me Slut!’, ‘Take Me Here’ and ‘Take Me Now!’, to name a few. The publisher’s website also pictures the titles’ lascivious dust jackets that feature colour photographs of scantily clad women in high heels and erotic underwear.

Yesterday, Carel Haff, Weltbild’s managing director, was quoted as saying that the revelations had provoked “a very intense and critical dialogue” within the company. He said discussions were under way about possibly limiting the assortment of titles.

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 Muller, editor of the Catholic magazine ‘PUR’, dismissed the clerics’ reaction.

He alleged that the pornography scandal at Weltbild had been going on for at least a decade with the church’s full knowledge. Mr Muller said that in 2008, a group of Catholics had sent bishops a 70-page document containing irrefutable evidence that Weltbild published books that promoted pornography, Satanism and magic.

But their protests appear to have been completely ignored. Writing in the ‘Die Welt’ newspaper, Mr Muller 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,” Mr Muller said. “Believers have been complaining to their bishops about this for years.” Continue reading »

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