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German tabloid produces "Benedict Bible"

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

BERLIN, July 8 (Reuters) Germany's best-selling newspaper, a tabloid which often publishes pictures of naked women on its front page, has joined forces with the pope to produce a ''Benedict bible''.

Bild daily will launch the special edition bible on Tuesday in the small Bavarian town where Pope Benedict was born. It includes 16 pages of text and pictures from Benedict about his election, on reading the bible and on his choice of name.

''He's the first German pope in over 500 years,'' Bild editor Kai Diekmann told Reuters. ''Germany has a special relationship with Benedict. His election gave the whole country a lift.'' Diekmann presented a copy of the bible, with Pope Benedict's seal and bound in white leather, to the Pope on Wednesday.

Bild, which has a readership of 12 million, has backed four special bible projects that have sold 600,000 copies in the last three years.

''Our readers take a huge interest in religious and spiritual matters, and not just since Joseph Ratzinger became Pope,'' Diekmann said. ''The readers' response has been very positive.

There is a huge demand and we deliver.'' Diekmann insisted there was nothing inconsistent about the paper's often racy contents and its interest in religion.

''Why shouldn't the beauty of God's creation and religious matters appear in the same paper? Religion is not prudish. Read the bible or look at the ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel,'' he said.

''The church has to be where the people are.'' REUTERS SBC PM2133

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