Cardinal dumped by newspaper for ‘papal plagiarism’

A Peruvian newspaper has dumped articles by a local cardinal after it was found they contained unattributed statements by popes.

El Comercio stated it would not publish any more articles by Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, who is Lima’s archbishop.

The newspaper, described as the paper of record for the Peruvian establishment, deleted the articles from its website.

A Peruvian website, had accused the cardinal of including six paragraphs from the book Communio by Pope Benedict (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) and parts of the Ecclesiam suam, an encyclical by Pope Paul VI, in two editorials for El Comercio.

In a letter to El Comercio, Cardinal Cirpriani stated the arguments in his columns were part of the “patrimony of the teachings of the Catholic Church” and as such they had no copyright.

But he did concede: “I regret that the brevity of space led me to omit these sources and I recognise the error.”

The Independent reported that Cardinal Cipriani’s explanation about space – one op-ed took up an entire page – was met with ridicule from El Comercio’s main rival, centre-left paper La República.

Columnist Augusto Alvaro Rodrich wrote: “Not even the most sycophantic of his acolytes believes that.”

Another writer, Raul Tola, added that even a “primary school student” would not get away with such an excuse.

Raul Leon, a commentator in La República stated: “Taking someone’s work and passing it off as your own is pure and simple plagiary, as set out in article 219 of the Peruvian Penal Code.”

The Telegraph reported that in July, 2014, Cardinal Cipriani stated that Peruvian media was being “blackmailed” by foreign organisations promoting gay rights and abortion rights at the expense of reporting on traditional Peruvian values.

“They fabricate stories of death and dramatic situations,” said the cardinal, who is a member of Opus Dei.

“Where people wish to learn whether truth and justice are being served, they report nothing.”

In June, Peruvian media published an investigation into the cardinal’s shareholdings in controversial mines.


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