Newspaper nixes Peru cardinal after papal 'plagiarism'

Peruvian cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, pictured here in Lima on June 10, 2012, is accused of plagiarizing past popes in editorials (AFP Photo/Cris Bouroncle) (AFP/File)

Lima (AFP) - Peru's leading newspaper said it will no longer publish editorials by the cardinal and archbishop of Lima after accusing him of plagiarizing past popes in his articles.

The suspect stories have also been taken down from the website of El Comercio "because the newspaper does not publish articles in which the text is signed by someone but in reality written by another," the publication said.

An investigation by the Peruvian website revealed last week that Juan Luis Cipriani had copied portions of the book "Communio," written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI, and of the encyclical "Ecclesiam Suam," written by Pope Paul VI in two of his editorials.

The revelations unleashed a flood of social media criticism against Cipriani, a prominent conservative and member of Opus Dei.

Following that outcry, the cardinal admitted his "error" last week, explaining in a letter to the newspaper that "space limitations led me to omit including the sources" of his text.

He suggested to listeners of his radio program, "Dialogues of Faith," that the newspaper's response was "revenge" for his inflexible opposition to abortion and gay marriage, hotly debated topics in Peru, where Catholics make up a significant majority.

"I will continue to fight in defense of life, for marriage between one man and one woman, for the family," Cipriani said.