Catholic-Owned Media Company Will Sell Erotica, But Not Gay Lit
By Andrew Belonsky
Verlagsgruppe Weltbild is a German media company that nets about $1.7 billion in annual revenue and controls an estimated 20% of the German book market. This is all very good for Weltbild's owners, the German Catholic Church. While certainly Weltbild ("Worldview"), distributes holy roller manuals and Biblically-themed publications, it also peddles over 2,500 different straight erotica titles. This speaks volumes about the hypocrisy so rampant in the international Catholic Church, an institution that preaches loving your fellow man but roundly damns men who actually love other men. But the disconnect between religious philosophy and business dealings is made all the more striking by news that Weltbild recently reversed a decision to carry books published by the LGBT-centric Icon Empire Press, publishers of The Gay Travel Guide for Tops and Bottoms, the gay fables anthology The Gay Icon Classics of the World, and various fiction titles about coming to terms with sexuality, about accepting oneself the way they were born.
Even though Weltbild carried Icon Empire's German-language titles for a year, the Vancouver-based independent publishing house received word earlier this month that Weltbild has reversed course because, they said in an email, "As a company owned by the Catholic Church of Germany our leadership is devoted to rather traditional values…"
It's at this point that I'd like to mention a few of the erotica titles Weltbild proudly distributes, under the German Catholic Church's corporate banner: Anwaltshure, which translates to "Lawyer’s Whore;" Schlampen-Internat, known in English as "Sluts's Boarding School;" and Vögelbar, or "Fuckable."
The German website Die Welt also notes that the German Catholic Church also owns a 50% share in Droemer Knaur, a media company responsible for the titles Nimm mich hier und nimm mich jetzt! ("Take Me Here, Take Me Now!") and Sag Luder zu mir! ("Call Me Slut!").