A 49-year-old German monk may face criminal charges after he was caught steal gay porn DVDs from a shop.

A search of his room at the medieval Abbey of Maria Laach in Rhineland-Palatine found more than 200 similar DVDs.

The Benedictine monk was challenged when he tried to steal four DVDs from a sex shop in the Bavarian city of Würzburg, reports Abendzeitung newspaper.

He ran for it, dumping the DVDs in a bin, but was caught by police officers.

The monk’s home is one of the finest Romanesque structures in Germany, founded in 1093.

Benedictine monks spend their time praying, spiritual reading, work, eating and sleep.

They come under the leadership of an Abbot who they vow obedience to.

He controls their movements, reading material (which presumably includes DVDs) and what work is assigned to them.

The Abbot also has the power to excommunicate a monk from the community.

It has served as a Benedictine Abbey from the twelfth century to 1802 and was re-established in the 1890s.