Plagiarism prompts retraction of 25-year-old article by prominent priest

Fr. Thomas Rosica

Retraction Watch readers may have heard about Fr. Thomas Rosica, a priest who recently apologized for plagiarism and resigned from the board of a college. The case, which involved Rosica’s speeches and popular columns, prompted at least two observers to take a look at his scholarly work.

One of those observers was Michael Dougherty, who has a well-earned reputation as the plagiarism police squad in certain fields and recently published Correcting the Scholarly Record for Research Integrity: In the Aftermath of Plagiarism. Dougherty wrote a letter to the journal in question, Worship, on February 20th.

In the letter, which we have posted here, Dougherty writes:

Portions of the article appear to consist of texts pieced together from various authors without quotation marks and without attribution. The document accompanying this letter highlights select passages from the article that are taken verbatim or near-verbatim from works by other authors. That is, the document presents evidence of suspected plagiarism in this article for which Thomas M. Rosica is the author of record.

According to Dougherty’s analysis, Rosica’s article, “The Road to Emmaus and the Road to Gaza: Luke 24:13-35 and Acts 8:26-40,” plagiarizes from six different sources.

Separately, Josh Hochschild, co-author of A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in the Age of Distraction, tweeted about apparent plagiarism in the article on February 23, and published a blog post about it on it on February 26. And sometime last week, the journal published a notice of retraction on its homepage:

We have recently learned that large portions of the article, “The Road to Emmaus and the Road to Gaza: Luke 24:13-35 and Acts 8:26-40” (Worship, 68.2, March 1994, 117-131) by Basilian Father Thomas M. Rosica were plagiarized from a variety of sources. We are in the process of retracting the article and notifying the various publications and/or authors from whose work elements were used without appropriate documentation.

We note that this is not the oldest article about which Dougherty has raised questions. To the best of our knowledge, that honor belongs to a 1982 paper by a cat.

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2 thoughts on “Plagiarism prompts retraction of 25-year-old article by prominent priest”

  1. I support a cat’s right to publish, plagiarized or otherwise, this is about fundamental feline rights, not to mention feline entitlements

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