EXCLUSIVE: Eyewitness claims Fr. Thomas Rosica spent 2 hours in homosexual bathhouse – LifeSite

TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) – An eyewitness has told LifeSiteNews that he saw Father Thomas Rosica enter a Toronto bathhouse last Sunday and leave two hours later.  

Shane D’Costa, a former member of Toronto’s Newman Centre, says he recognized the former CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation when he saw him on Dundas Street West on the afternoon of June 9. Wanting to speak to the Basilian priest, D’Costa followed him for “about two minutes” through the crowded street before seeing him disappear through the door of “Splash Steam and Sauna” at 1610 Dundas Street West. The younger man waited until the priest left the building two hours later and then confronted him.  

D’Costa told LifeSiteNews that he decided to wait for Rosica in the doorway of the establishment so that he couldn’t slip away unseen through the crowds attending the Dundas Street West festival that day. D’Costa said he had never seen the place before, but while waiting it dawned on him that the place was a sauna for homosexual men.  

“It’s only when I’m waiting for two hours that I noticed that it’s just gay men going in and coming out,” D’Costa told LifeSiteNews. “And I figured out that there must be a gay bathhouse. And then when I got home, I checked on the internet, and I confirmed that it was.”  

In this situation, “bathhouse” appears to be a euphemism. In its online advice to straight men who might wish to visit their premises, Splash Steam and Sauna warns, “Please be aware there is a certain degree of sexual activity common throughout the premises. Also, some rooms feature video materials that are pornographic in nature.” According to its website, the establishment includes a “steam room, dry sauna, showers, locker room, dark room, and video/orgy room, as well as the front television lounge.”

The eyewitness said that the priest was not wearing clericals or any kind of religious insignia. Although he had not seen him in 20 years, D’Costa recognized Rosica by his “very distinctive face.” D’Costa also said that when Rosica came down the stairs and out the door of the establishment, he addressed him.  

“I said his name: ‘Thomas Rosica! How are you?’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Oh, hi. Who are you?’ And I said, ‘Hi. I’m Shane D’Costa from the Newman Centre.’” 

The younger man then told Rosica what he had planned to say to him since he spotted him, which was that he “should be nicer to people.” To this, Rosica apparently responded, “Oh, thank you. Thank you.” 

D’Costa then said, ‘I’m very happy that Dorothy Cummings (McLean) outed you as a plagiarist,’ and explained that he had known the LifeSiteNews staffer since high school.  

To this, Rosica apparently also said, “Thank you.”   

“And now we’re going to out you going to gay bathhouses, having anonymous gay sex,” D’Costa told him, at which point, he said, Rosica hurried away into the crowded street.  

“That was it for me,” D’Costa told LifeSiteNews. “I wasn’t trying to say anything more. That was it. I said what I said.”  

LifeSiteNews contacted Rosica at Presentation Manor for Seniors, his current post. Asked what he was doing at the bathhouse, he denied that he had been there. 

“I was away. I wasn’t here,” he said in panicked tones. “I was not here. I’ve been away. I’ve been away. I just came back from Israel.” 

He hung up the phone as LifeSite was asking if he had his flights and itinerary to show that.

LifeSiteNews then contacted Rosica’s superior as a Basilian priest, Father Kevin Storey. Fr. Storey said that he did not know about Rosica’s visit to the bathhouse, and he did not know if Rosica was in Israel on June 9. He advised the media outlet that the eyewitness should contact the Basilians’ case manager for sexual allegations, Father David Katulski.

D’Costa contacted LifeSiteNews through social media on the evening of June 9 and later told an editor that he would be happy to sign a detailed affidavit about the encounter. He gave a full interview on Monday, July 17. Told that Rosica had denied being in the bathhouse, D’Costa said that he was 100% sure that he saw Rosica enter and exit Splash Steam and Sauna and would be willing to swear to it in court. He was not interested in making a report to Fr. Katulski.

READ: Disgraced plagiarist Fr. Rosica to give retreat for parents of ‘LGBTQ young adults’ at Jesuit center

The Canadian government’s travel advisory, last updated on June 6, warns against non-essential travel to Israel.  

Born in Rochester, New York, Thomas Rosica joined the Congregation of Saint Basil as a young man and studied theology at Toronto’s Regis College. In the mid-1990s, he was asked to become the chaplain at the Newman Centre for Catholic students at the University of Toronto. This is where D’Costa first met him in 1995.  

A graduate of a Basilian high school, the then 23-year-old D’Costa had been living at Toronto’s Serra House, the Archdiocese of Toronto’s house of discernment for men, when he began to host tea parties at the Newman Centre. According to D’Costa, when long-term members of Newman Centre community made complaints about the new chaplain, a Toronto Star reporter came calling. In response, Rosica invited the journalist to attend one of D’Costa’s popular parties and talk to the students. (Full disclosure: LifeSite’s Dorothy Cummings McLean, then Dorothy Cummings, attended these tea parties.) 

After a May 21, 1995, article appeared in the Star featuring the tea parties (and quoting Fr. Rosica’s dismissal of the disgruntled laity as “special-interest groups”), the chaplain invited D’Costa to live and work at the Newman Centre as head of hospitality. D’Costa was disappointed later when Rosica docked his wages to cover his room and board, leaving him, he said, with nothing. Meanwhile, the young man’s tenure was short. After a few months of observing Rosica’s methods of career advancement, which included judicious networking, D’Costa made the error of leaving his diary on the Newman Centre’s reception desk. After Rosica allegedly read D’Costa’s journal, which included his opinion that the chaplain was a “master manipulator,” he dismissed the young man.  

“That was the end of my Catholic days,” D’Costa told LifeSiteNews. While he says his own theological and spiritual journey led him away from Christianity, Rosica’s kind of ministry didn’t tempt him to stay.  

“Experiencing a priest like that didn’t endear me to the Catholic Church,” D’Costa said.  

He said that he harbored a few angry thoughts about Rosica over the years but never thought of approaching him the few times he saw him around town.  

“This time — I hadn’t seen him in more than 20 years — I’d go thought I’d give him a piece of my mind on Dundas. And then he goes into a gay bathhouse. So I definitely gave him a piece of my mind.” 

Like thousands of others in Toronto, D’Costa read about LifeSiteNews’ revelations that the priest was a serial plagiarist in the National Post in February 2019. The story was of special interest to him because he had first met LifeSite’s lead journalist on the story, Dorothy Cummings McLean, in 1989 when they were both members of Toronto Students for Life.  

The scandal eventually led to Rosica’s resignation from Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation. When the scandal first broke, Rosica seemed both to apologize for copying the work of others and to blame interns and others for sending him the quotes without proper attribution. However, as the weeks wore on, it became clear that several of Rosica’s works, including newspaper columns, speeches, and books, were “patch written,” combining passages from several writers, sometimes with words omitted or moved around, which made detection more difficult. Some plagiarism dates back over 30 years, long before the founding of Salt and Light TV.    

RELATED: The list of Fr. Rosica’s plagiarism is a long one. Here are 57 examples

Subsequently, Rosica became a chaplain at Presentation Manor, a retirement home for Catholic clergy, religious and laity. According to, he was appointed a director for the institution in February 2023. He continues to be invited to give pastoral talks and reflections by religious orders and dioceses like the Diocese of Hamilton. Recently, Salt and Light Media broadcast his interview with talk show host Stephen Colbert and plans to air another of his interviews on June 19.  

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