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Rosica apologizes for plagiarism

Fr Rosica (Chris Adamczyk/Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation)

'What I’ve done is wrong, and I am sorry about that,' the Vatican spokesman said

A long-time Vatican spokesman has admitted to passing off the writing of others as his own, and apologized for plagiarizing.

“What I’ve done is wrong, and I am sorry about that. I don’t know how else to say it,” Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, told the National Post on February 22.

Rosica, a long-serving English language press aide at the Vatican Press Office, and the CEO of Canada’s Salt+Light Television network, was reported by Life Site News on February 15 to have plagiarized sections of text in several lectures and op-eds from a variety of writers, among them priests, theologians, journalists, and at least two cardinals.

Subsequent reports found widespread plagiarism in essays, speeches, and op-eds by Rosica, dating back more than a decade. Plagiarized sections in some texts ran beyond even one paragraph.

Rosica told the National Post that he had passed off the work of others as his his own because his notes were disorganized, and because he relied on material prepared by interns.

“I realize I relied too much on compiled notes,” Rosica told the National Post, adding that his plagiarism was inadvertent and not malicious. He explained that “it could have been cut and paste,” apparently meaning that he had mistakenly included passages of text written by others in his texts without remembering to attribute them.

“I realize the seriousness of this and I regret this very much … I will be very vigilant in future,” he said.

Rosica is a member of the governing board at the Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College, to whom he told the National Post he planned to apologize. I will apologize that this came to light, and it’s wrong, and it’s not going to happen again,” Rosica said.

The college’s board chairman said in statement that the university takes the matter very seriously, and intends “to address the matter internally going forward.”

Rosica, a member of the Congregation of St. Basil, oversaw Toronto’s 2002 World Youth Day, and is currently assisting with the Vatican’s global summit on child sexual abuse.

Editor’s note 

The Catholic Herald has published one article by Fr Rosica, a 2015 piece about the family synod. We have discovered that it includes unattributed material from a speech given the previous year by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. We have therefore removed the text of the article.