A tangled web in the pulpit

by
13 March 2008

by Ed Beavan

ROMAN CATHOLIC priests in Poland are risking legal action by plagiarising their sermons from the internet.

Professor Tomasz Naganowski, a media-law expert at the Higher School of Social Learning in Poznan, co-author of a recent book, To Pinch or Not to Pinch, has called for priests to be warned that copying sermons without acknowledging the original author could lead to a three-year prison sentence or a fine.

The other co-author, Wieslaw Przyczyna, suggests that internet-savvy young priests are the worst offenders. “Owners of internet sermon websites have noticed an increase in use on Saturday nights, suggesting some priests are trying to rescue themselves at the last moment.”

In the UK, the director of the College of Preachers, Paul Johns, said: “Occasionally, you hear stories about people recognising sermons from the College of Preachers journal, but it seems it isn’t too much of an issue here.”

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