Saturday, April 26, 2008

If your pastor plagiarizes the homily, is the Mass still valid and licit?

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The book, "To Plagiarize or Not to Plagiarize?" is an attempt to set boundaries in the wake of pulpit plagiarism claims that have hit not just Catholic clerics in Poland but ministers from other Christian denominations in the United States.

Temptation is just the click of a mouse away as more and more churches post their sermons online, not to mention the availability of books and church-sponsored magazines that provide inspiration for sermons.

There is a thin line between drawing inspiration and lifting the text outright, said the Rev. Wieslaw Przyczyna, one of the book's editors....

Now, in Poland, a priest caught using a plagiarized sermon can face stiff fines or even as long as three years in prison, though no one has actually been charged or sentenced.... Plagiarized from Rocco

9 comments:

Cathy_of_Alex said...

"plagiarized from Rocco"

LJ!

Padre Steve said...

Who will be the homily police? How goofy is all of this. Some Polish priests have too much time on their hands if they are writing books about this! Padre Steve

Ray from MN said...

I tend to agree with you, Padre.

Although, for your sake, I hope that someone doesn't "out you" for having "borrowed" a pithy phrase from a neighboring pastor.

Governor Spitzer had to resign. We wouldn't want to lose you, too.


Cathy: Too bad blogger doesn't allow "smileys" or multiple avatars. Thanks.

Fr. Andrew said...

Oh no! They're on to me!

Anonymous said...

Hey, folks, we should be so lucky? After nearly a lifetime of sitting through mindless, unprepared, off-the-cuff, off the point, politically precious, insanely inclusive, grammatically challenged "hommilies," I would be thankful to high heaven for a plagiarized, brief, cogent and memorable sermon. Sorry, dear Fathers, but you were abysmally cheated by you seminary training. I state the problem; and now give the resolution: Prepare it (write it out), keep it short (l0 mins. max), make one point (and only one), and give us something to take home. If need be, seek professional help, i.e., a speaking coach (it's that important).

Anonymous said...

"homilies,"

swissmiss said...

This might actually call for some moral relativism :) If he plagarizes a great homily...wonderful. But, if he's thick enough to copy a bad homily, then he should be tarred and feathered.

Fr. Andrew said...

Actually, it isn't plagiarized if site your sources, then we call it research. I don't think we should diminish the concern in Poland. Imagine if someone has a reputation as an inspired preacher with a cutting intellect, he seems like a holy priest and is widely reputed to be saintly. He ends up on ternas and eventually becomes a bishop. Then it is discovered that his homilies- which he claimed were his (true plagiarism)- were really fake.

I'm just sayin'.

Ray from MN said...

Swissie:

I am a firm believer that "tar 'n feathering" and, especially, "the stocks" should be brought back as punishments.

Yeah, plagiarizing a bad homily is far worse than writing one. Definitely candidates for "feathers."

I like anon's idea of only one major point, too. No sense going through a whole chapter of the catechism in one homily.

Father Corpi has the hang of it. Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, Anger, Lust (well that one might take a few homilies)....