27 April 2008

The plagiarising Polish priest prison palaver.

Poland's 28,000 Roman Catholic priests have been told by church authorities that they may be fined if they are discovered to have plagiarised their sermons from the internet, and could even face up to three years in prison. The church has published a self-help book on writing sermons to lure parish priests away from stealing the words of their fellow clergy.

Father Wieslaw Przyczyna, the co-author of To Plagiarise or not to Plagiarise, told Polish media that the guide had been written to address what had become an increasingly common problem, as more churches put their sermons online and an increasing numbers of priests used the internet. Przyczyna, a sermon expert at Krakow's Pontifical Academy of Theology, added that the book's aim was to shame culprits and prompt them to confess what they had done. "Unfortunately the practice has become more usual than not," he said. "But if a priest takes another priest's words and presents them as his own without saying where he got them from, this is unethical and against the rules of authorship."


The church authorities have said they will start to carry out systematic checks in an attempt to clamp down on the practice and will rely on sharp-eared parishioners to compare online texts with those in Biblioteka Kaznodziejska, a monthly magazine that publishes sermons which have been delivered from the pulpit in Poland.


Przyczyna has already faced a backlash to his anti-plagiarism crusade. He told the online Catholic News Service that he had received complaints for "harassing priests and exposing their weaknesses".


Well there you have it. The Polish church will be clamping down hard on plagiarism among their clergy. I presume a prison sentence will only be applied if the priest also uses litotes while genuflecting with a rubric. Luckily for me they have not set out the sentence for awful acts against alliteration....

11 comments:

Nunyaa said...

I'll be honest and risk looking like a dumb ass, I have no idea what them words in the last paragraph mean.

CherryPie said...

Seems a bit daft to me!

jams o donnell said...

Ah Nunyaa, genuflecting is going down on on knee. I used to do that as a catholic before teh cruscifix. An example of litotes is "no mean feat" when you mean something was an impressve feat. a rubric in this sense is an instruction to a priest/... basically I'm talking bollocks!

Oh it is cherie!

jmb said...

Well I think I would rather listen to something good nicked from the internet than something bad off the top of the priest's head.

What a storm in a teacup.

Semaj Mahgih said...

As long as they stick to original material like "I had a dream", then things should be all right.

jams o donnell said...

jmb you are absolutely right. The story was just a vehicle for me to be silly!

Ah you mean the Abba song about believing in angels, James?

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

I'm not Catholic but I assumed that a lot of their Mass services involve rote prayers and dialogue. How hard can it be to fill in the remaining time with original thought?

Roland Dodds said...

Who the fudge is so in the know, that they could pick up a plagiarized sermon? To be honest, they all sound alike to me.

jams o donnell said...

The free form part of the service is the sermon (I would imagine LDS services are like that too?). The Polish hierarchy obviously want their priests to put in some original thought. It's all very silly!

Agreed Roland. Sermon time was when you sat back and snoozed. You had to make sure you didn't snore though - you didn't want to wake everyone else up!

Liz said...

Poetry was being read to me yesterday. Written by Gerald Manley Hopkins it made fine use of alliteration. Rather than being sentenced you should be lauded for it.

jams o donnell said...

Aww thanks Liz!