Jesuits will no longer award Vatican media consultant after plagiarism scandal
MONTREAL, February 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A Catholic teaching order will not be awarding a top honor to a Vatican spokesman after revelations that he has been plagiarising for many years.
The Jesuits of Canada announced before the scandal broke that they were planning to bestow their “Magis” award upon Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, at their Annual Provincial’s Dinner on April 24.
However, the plans have changed.
In a statement released to media, an unnamed spokesman for the Jesuits of Canada indicated that the Society of Jesus, as they are also known, has been following news coverage of the scandal.
“The Jesuits of Canada have followed the recent media reports regarding plagiarism by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, actions for which he has taken responsibility and offered a full apology,” he wrote.
“Plagiarism is a grave offense against intellectual honesty and the community of scholarship.”
The spokesman stressed also that many Canadian Jesuits know Rosica personally and “celebrate his genuine service to the Church in Canada and around the world.”
“It is with great sorrow then that we have written to Father Rosica and withdrawn our invitation to him to receive the Magis Award on April 24, in the context of the Annual Provincial’s Dinner."
The spokesman indicated that the Jesuits in Canada would offer no further comment.
This is the latest blow to the CEO of Canada’s Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation after news of his misuse of the intellectual property of others was published by LifeSiteNews on February 15.
LSN’s close examination of Fr Rosica’s speech during a lecture at the Von Hügel Institute at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University revealed that he had misappropriated the words of at least five other men.
Further research by First Things editor Matthew Schmitz and Canadian Lutheran editor Mathew Block revealed that Rosica had also plagiarized whole passages in some of his other speeches and published writing. The story was picked up by one of Canada’s national newspapers, the National Post, through whom Rosica offered an apology, and then by the Catholic News Agency and Breitbart. Further research has so far found plagiarism in his academic writings as early as 1992. The story has now reached as far as Germany and Poland.
Yesterday the Collegium of the University of Saint Michael’s College announced that Father Rosica had resigned from the governing body.
The Jesuits of Canada are part of the worldwide Jesuit order, or Society of Jesus, which is renowned for its academic institutions. The Society of Jesus has been serving God and the Church in Canada since 1611, and among its luminaries are counted the martyr saints Jean de Brébeuf, Noë Chabanel, Antoine Daniel, Charles Garnier and Gabriel Lalemant.
During its centuries in Canada, the Jesuit order has owned, and taught at, numerous educational institutions, of which today three colleges and seven schools remain.