- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s pastor, the Rev. Bill Shillady, has apologized after it was revealed Monday that his post-election email to the former Democratic nominee had borrowed heavily from an Indiana pastor’s blog post without attribution.

In a Nov. 9 email titled, “Sunday is Coming,” Mr. Shillady assured Mrs. Clinton that better days were ahead after her loss to President Trump. It’s the first devotional listed in his new book titled, “Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” to be released on Tuesday, CNN reported.

“For the disciples and Christ’s followers in the first century, Good Friday represented the day that everything fell apart,” Mr. Shillady wrote. “All was lost. The momentum and hope of a man claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah who was supposed to change everything, had been executed.

CNN said Monday that significant portions of that email were lifted from a March 2016 blog post from the Rev. Matthew Deuel, a pastor at Mission Point Community Church in Warsaw, Indiana.

Mr. Shillady told CNN that he’s often inspired by material on the internet but didn’t recall lifting text verbatim from another pastor.

“I do not remember cutting and pasting from a particular column so much as bits and pieces from a variety of places on the Internet,” he said.

Mr. Shillady later apologized in a statement.

“In preparing the devotional on the morning of November 9, I was determined to provide comfort with the familiar adage that ‘It’s Friday But Sunday is Coming,’” he said. “I searched for passages that offered perspective of this theme. I am now stunned to realize the similarity between Matt Deuel’s blog sermon and my own. Clearly, portions of my devotional that day incorporate his exact words. I apologize to Matt for not giving him the credit he deserves.”

Mr. Shillady said he couldn’t be sure if additional text from his forthcoming book was plagiarized. His publisher, Abingdon Press, said it was confident the rest of Mr. Shillady’s book is attributed properly.

“We worked with Rev. Shillady to faithfully cite all of the many contributors to the devotionals,” Editor-in-Chief Mary Catherine Dean told CNN. “His failure to attribute portions of the November 9 devotional does not change the fact that the 365 passages in the book were sent to Hillary Clinton, are part of the historical record of her campaign, and gave her the inspiration to stay strong.”

Mr. Deuel said he was “shocked” when he read Mr. Shillady’s email to Mrs. Clinton, which was first published by CNN on Monday. But he said he wouldn’t be “publicly pursuing anything” against Mr. Shillady.

“The last thing the world needs right now is two pastors having a public dispute over a blog,” Mr. Deuel said. “The reality is, there’s nothing new under the sun.”

Mr. Shillady, a friend and pastor to the Clinton family for more than a decade, co-officiated Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in 2010 and led the memorial service for Hillary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, in 2011.

The reverend emailed a devotional to Mrs. Clinton every day before, during and after her 2016 presidential campaign — a total of 635. His new book features 365 of his favorite messages to Mrs. Clinton.

The former secretary of state wrote a foreword for the book and appears on the cover. She is scheduled to appear with Mr. Shillady at an event discussing the book Sept. 7 in New York City. She has yet to comment on CNN’s report.

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