Rheinischer Merkur

The Rheinische Merkur was a national weekly newspaper with a Christian and conservative orientation. She was transferred to Bonn, where she appeared on Thursdays. While the advertisements described himself some years as "politically. Competent. Anders ". The paid circulation was, according to the IVW for Q2 2010 64 356 copies, of which 36 363 Subscription; for the 3rd quarter, the publisher announced no more numbers. Carrier were eight German dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Cologne and the German Bishops' Conference substantially. The majority was dioceses in North Rhine -Westphalia.

Since December 2010, the Rheinische Merkur no longer appears as a separate publication, but under the title Christ and the world as a supplement of the weekly Die Zeit.


Foundation with respect to Gorres

The newspaper was founded after the Second World War. The German journalist Franz Albert Kramer had taken the first steps still in exile in Switzerland and established in August 1945, a publishing house based in a destroyed technical operation in Koblenz. In this city had already published a newspaper called Rhenish Mercury Joseph Gorres 1814-1816. Kramer followed up on it in his first editorial: "There is no bigger name, to which we could draw. With the originality of his thought, with the power of his language, with all the gorgeous passion of his mind Gorres has the Rheinische Merkur secured the highest rank. "

Start time

The first issue of the new Rheinische Merkur appeared on March 15, 1946, a license of the French occupying power under the founder and first editor in chief Franz Albert Kramer. The first edition was 220,000 copies, paper shortage could in the time that followed, however, only 160,000 are produced. The paper first appeared twice a week and was still changed weekly in the year of creation at once.

Employee the first time were the journalists and publicists Paul Wilhelm Wenger, Otto B. Roegele ( Chief Editor from 1949 to 1963, editor 1963-2005 ) and Eduard Verhülsdonk.

Later editors:

  • Anton Böhm (1963-1973)
  • Herwig Gückel Horn (1973-1979)
  • Alois Rummel (1979-1985)
  • Thomas Kiel Feininger (1985-1994)
  • Michael Rutz (1995-2010)

Support by the Catholic Church since the 1970s

After 1971, the experiment of a nationwide Catholic weekly new type ( Publik ) had failed in Germany, the Rheinische Merkur by the Catholic Church was institutionally supported. Later were the Archdiocese of Cologne and eight other dioceses carrier of the sheet; In 1976, the German Bishops' Conference added through the Association of German Dioceses.

1979 was the Protestant weekly Christ und Welt on the Rheinische Merkur.

The Rheinische Merkur described himself as independent. The editors represented politically most conservative positions on the basis of a Christian society image. The church policy positions were liberal - conservative and oriented more towards the German Bishops' Conference as to the positions of the Vatican.

From 1978 to 2006 Christa Meves was co-editor.


With the setting of the weekly newspaper The week in March 2002, the Rheinische Merkur took over their subscriber base. However, this only led to a short-term increase in the number of subscribers by around ten percent. After a few years they were well below the previous level. The newspaper was the rule of the parts of politics, economics, culture, science and practice of Christ and the world, of life ( with travel, style, media, people, and Report) and the irregular -appearing PR Supplement Mercury Plus.

Together with the Weltbild publishing group book series classics of Christianity was the Rheinische Merkur out from May 2007.

Set as a separate publication

In September 2010 the German Bishops' Conference decided to drop the Rheinische Merkur as an independent newspaper, and the liquidation of the Rhenish Mercury GmbH (Managing Director: Bert G. Wegener) as a partner due to the difficult situation of the newspaper market and declining circulation and advertising revenue. Finally, the newspaper each year have retracted a loss is in the millions. An interim takeover offer of appearing in Berlin weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit rejected by the publishers.

Details on the data, the Eichstätter media scientist Christian Klenk published in a scientific paper (see references ), but he got to his requests either from the management of the Rheinische Merkur yet accurate by the German Bishops' Conference Information about subsidies to or size of the edition.

Supplement of the time under the title Christ and World

The last stand-alone edition of the Rheinische Merkur appeared on November 25, 2010. Since December 2, 2010 a special edition of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit is a six-sided, editorially independent supplement entitled Christ and the world at. This special edition is available only for new subscribers of the time and for previous subscribers of the Rheinische Merkur and not in retail stores.

The supplement is from the three point three media mbH, a subsidiary of Catholic News Agency ( KNA ), produced by an editorial team whose five members had already been employees of the Rheinische Merkur. Editorial office has already been used in building the Heinrich -Brüning -Straße 9 in Bonn. Managing Editor Christiane Florin, her deputy Raoul Löbbert.

The focus is on religious, ethical and cultural issues, mostly from the Roman Catholic perspective.

The circulation is about 15,000 copies (2012 ).


  • Merkur.tv, Bonn ( each with a 50 % subsidiary of the publishing Rhenish Mercury GmbH and Tellux GmbH)
  • German newspaper publishing GmbH, Bonn ( filmdienst, radio correspondent, mercury, cinomat )
  • Press House Social Security Fund GmbH, Bonn.