Hillary Clinton's longtime pastor, the Rev. Dr. William S. Shillady, admitted he inadvertently plagiarized portions of a new book about the failed 2016 presidential candidate released Tuesday.
The book, titled Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, includes 365 of the more than 600 devotions he wrote for Clinton, along with personal notes and portions of her speeches.
Shillady, who currently serves as executive director of the United Methodist City Society in New York, has been promoting the book in media interviews over the last few weeks. He told CNN that he wasn't aware he had committed a cardinal sin in writing.
The Rev. Matthew Deuel, a pastor at Mission Point Community Church in Warsaw, Indiana, told CNN that Shillady borrowed heavily for the book from a blog post he penned in 2016 and did not include appropriate attribution.
Citing examples of similarities between the book and his blog post, Deuel wrote: "For the disciples and Christ followers in the first century, Good Friday represented the day that everything fell apart. 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.
Shillady's published email to Clinton says: "For the disciples and Christ's followers in the first century, Good Friday represented the day that everything fell apart. 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."
The book reportedly has several other quotes of a similar nature. When asked about the similarities, Shillady explained that he mixed material he found on the internet and from his old sermons to create the devotions he sent to Clinton.
"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.' 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."
Mary Catherine Dean, editor in chief of Abingdon Press, the book publishing arm of the United Methodist Publishing House, which released the book, accepted the explanation that it was an honest oversight.
"Strong for a Moment Like This is a heavily annotated work, in which Rev. Shillady has credited more than 200 sources. We worked with Rev. Shillady to faithfully cite all of the many contributors to the devotionals," she 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," she added.
Shillady explained in an earlier interview that Clinton's loss in November was so devastating it may have been comparable to what the disciples experienced when Jesus died.
"I woke up that morning (on November 9) and it felt like maybe what the Apostles experienced on Good Friday. Their leader, master and savior was dead and gone and they didn't know what to do. And I thought of this phrase from the Rev. Tony Compolo: Good Friday was tough, but Sunday was coming," Shillady said.