Toronto, Canada, Apr 17, 2019 / 16:56 pm
A Canadian priest’s controversial 2018 characterization of Pope Francis was plagiarized, according to a recent media report. The priest, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, apologized in February after he was discovered to have committed acts of plagiarism serially.
Rosica, a long-serving English language press aide at the Vatican Press Office, and the CEO of Canada’s Salt+Light Television network, wrote in July 2018 that Pope Francis “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is ‘free from disordered attachments.’ Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”
The passage had been taken from a 2014 blog post written by Richard Bennett, a former member of Dominican Order and an apparently laicized priest, who is now active in a fundamentalist Protestant organization which says it “places particular emphasis on the evangelization and conversion of Roman Catholics.”
Bennet’s post was intended as criticism of a video about Pope Francis released by Fr. James Martin, SJ, according to the National Post.
In one section of Bennet’s blog, which aimed to both summarize and critique Martin’s synopsis of Ignatian spirituality, Bennet wrote that: “Without the Gospel and locked into subjective mysticism, both the priests and the lay people are then without biblical authority – except as mediated to them by their Roman Church. Francis having completed the Spiritual Exercises is now ‘detached,’ i.e., free from any 'disordered attachments' so that all his attachments or desires are supposedly 'ordered toward God.'”