(LifeSiteNews) — A liberal Canadian priest who made international headlines in 2019 after being caught plagiarizing for decades has been invited to lead a conference for parents of “LGBTQ Young Adults” in Ontario next month.
Former Vatican spokesman Father Thomas Rosica CSB is scheduled to facilitate the “Seeing with Heart: A Day of Reflection” at the Jesuit-run Manresa Spiritual Renewal Center in Pickering, east of Toronto, on June 3.
Rosica is the former CEO of the Canadian-based Salt and Light Media Foundation. An apologist for Pope Francis, he previously enjoyed many prominent positions in the Church, including serving on the board of several universities and playing an integral role at the controversial 2015 Synod on the Family, where he pushed a pro-homosexual agenda and claimed there is a “sexual nature” to the Eucharist. He was relegated to obscurity after it was discovered in 2019 that he copied and pasted other people’s work — without attribution — for his essays, speeches, journal articles, op-ed pieces, and books for over three decades. The Canadian Jesuits, poised to award the Basilian priest their Magis Award, withdrew the honor.
In October 2022, Rosica was again accused of plagiarism. Michael V. Dougherty, a professor at Ohio Dominican University, showed that a paper Rosica wrote about Vatican II copied, without citation, large sections of articles published on left-wing Catholic outlets America Magazine and The National Catholic Reporter, among other sources.
Following his fall from grace, Rosica has been spending time ministering to senior citizens in Scarborough, Canada and assisting at several parishes in the Toronto area. He was scheduled to host a webinar for the Canadian Jesuits on January 17, 2023, but the event was abruptly canceled after LifeSiteNews began making inquiries in December 2022.
Rosica’s conference at the Manresa Center will be held on Saturday, June 3 from 9am until 4pm. A pamphlet for the event describes it as a “special day” that will “provide a relaxed and supportive atmosphere to meet and interact with other parents; reflect and discuss concerns and needs; learn about ministries and resources; [and] strengthen your love and grow closer to God.” It does not mention Rosica’s past dishonesty.
In 2018, Rosica said Mass for the dissident group All Inclusive Ministry, which is based in Toronto. He has also defended (and plagiarized) pro-LGBT priest Father James Martin and praised the now-deceased Gregory Baum, a left-wing priest who influenced the Second Vatican Council and in 2017 admitted to living as an active homosexual for decades. Rosica once said that to call same-sex attraction “intrinsically disordered” does “not invite people into dialogue nor does it build bridges.”
On Thursday, May 18, this journalist dialed the number listed on the pamphlet for Mike Hyland, the contact person for the retreat. There followed an almost comic interview.
‘Hi, I’m looking for Mike Hyland. I’m a reporter with LifeSiteNews. I emailed yesterday. I had a couple questions about a retreat upcoming. Is Mike available?’
‘Can I ask: do you know what this retreat is about?’ asked the man who answered.
‘Yes, it was about Fr. Rosica’s retreat for LGBT young adults. I just wanted to ask about that. I’m going to write a story about it. It’s a bit concerning … I’m a journalist with LifeSiteNews.’
‘I see, I see,’ he said. ‘Yeah, I don’t think I’m interested in answering your questions.’
‘Is there a reason why?’ LifeSite asked.
‘This is for parents, and you’re not a parent.’
‘How do you know that?’
‘I’m only talking to parents at this point.’
‘What if I am a parent?’
‘Well, are you? Do you have a child who is gay, lesbian?’
‘Well, the retreat says it’s for parents of ‘LGBTQ children’ … What is an ‘LGBTQ young adult’? Are you saying someone can be transgender?’
‘Are you a parent? If you’re not a parent, I don’t wish to speak to you.’
‘Not even as a member of the Body of Christ? I’m a fellow Catholic. I’m concerned…’
‘I only speak to parents.’
‘Are you aware of Fr. Rosica’s history of plagiarism?’
‘I am aware of Fr. Rosica’s incredible faithfulness to the church, for his sound teaching, and for his love of God, and love of the Church. I’m aware of all that.’
‘What is ‘sound’ about calling homosexuality not ‘intrinsically disordered’?’
‘I’m going to leave now.’