Update: German bishops to sell company that publishes porn

This caused  a sensation when it hit the news a couple weeks ago.  Now, something is being done about it:

The Catholic Church in Germany says it will act “without delay” to sell its stake in a publishing company that offers pornography among its products.

“We cannot earn money during the week with what we preach against on Sundays,” Cardinal Joachim Meisner told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper Nov. 22.

The Weltbild Publishing Group is one of Germany’s largest publishers, with an annual income of $2.2 billion dollars, nearly 6,500 staff and book stores on the main street of many German towns and cities. However, it also publishes and distributes nearly 2,500 pornographic titles, largely through their Internet sites.

At present, 12 of Germany’s 27 dioceses own just over 24 percent of the shares in the publishing firm. Some dioceses have already divested themselves of their stock in recent years, including the Archdiocese of Cologne which is led by Cardinal Meisner.

Today’s announcement comes only weeks after Pope Benedict XVI criticized the German bishops for their investments.

Read more.

Comments

  1. Oregon Catholic says:

    They are acting like so many other hypocrites – they are only taking action because they got caught and embarrassed. The corruption at the core is still there. Is it really news to any bishop that they should act the same Mon thru Sat that they preach on Sunday?

  2. Deacon Greg,

    This is an interesting moral dilemma. Does one keep the stock in the porn production, or sell the porn to others willing to produce it?

    25% is no small share. Could the Church not leverage that in some way to force the publisher into reforming? Are they the largest single shareholder? Should they buy up enough stock to hold a voting majority and then reform from within? That seems about the only honorable way out of the filthy situation they’ve gotten themselves into.

    It seems that simply selling porn production is as bad as owning it. In either instance, all profits should be given to programs that help women and men harmed by the porn industry.

  3. Excellent points…and worthy of emulation in our personal lives.

    If we have something that isn’t good for us or for someone else, whatever it is–it doesn’t have to be porn, don’t just give it away or sell it so someone else can make use of it. Put it in the trash so no one else will get their hands/minds on it. That is one way to keep from infecting others and from further extending the life of trash, whether actual or moral.

    “What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?” (Luke 11:11-12).

  4. pagansister says:

    How much money will the RCC in Germany lose by not receiving their share of the profits from this company? Sounds like the whole publishing company does pretty well for itself. Some of those profits are being made by the non-porn the company sells.

  5. Phyllis Zagano says:

    Are the merely divesting? Are they denoucing their corporate attitude that life is “for us and for all men”?

  6. If the market is more or less efficient, the future profits of the entire company are already capitalized — reflected in the market price of the shares. The bishops might as well sell. There is no way to divest without selling to someone else, short of selling back to the issuing company. That would probably be the morally preferable choice, but it’s not likely the company would agree to buy the shares.

  7. All these German bishops have to be named and shamed, pilloried and have tomatoes thrown at them.

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