Despite his public apology, plagiarism allegations that have recently arisen against Toronto Catholic priest Thomas Rosica are serious and demand justice. Rosica, well known for his work in the city’s Roman Catholic community, has stepped down from his position on the board of directors at the University of St. Michael’s College. The priest alleges alleges the plagiarism was unintentional, and has expressed his regret for what he deems “errors.”
In the earliest article found to be plagiarized, two entire paragraphs were copied word for word from reporter Brian Murphy. It is difficult to believe that someone could unwittingly replicate such a substantial amount of writing from another person’s work without realizing it. Moreover, this was one of the many instances in which the priest has taken credit for another writer’s words. It is evident that Rosica is feigning innocence as an attempt to keep his reputation intact.
Rosica has been plagiarizing without any consequences for a little over a decade. He used others’ ideas in his pursuit to bolster his reputation as a distinguished member of the Catholic community. It is even possible that the plagiarized work aided the priest in winning some awards and honorary degrees that he has accepted over the years.
On a campus that denounces content theft, Rosica’s actions and excuses are disappointing. He provides a poor example to other academics and students. Therefore, it would be best that he no longer be affiliated with the University of Toronto. Rosica needs to be held accountable for his actions. Revoking the awards he received for his work in the Catholic community and the honorary degrees he received at U of T would be an appropriate penalty.
Agata Mociani is a first-year Humanities student at New College.