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Pfleger removed as pastor of St. Sabina in wake of mocking Clinton at Trinity Church. Cardinal George's statement.

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WASHINGTON--Chicago's Cardinal Francis George on Tuesday removed Father Micheal Pfleger as pastor at St. Sabina's following his taking the pulpit at Trinity United Church of Christ on May 31 to ridicule Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) at what had been the Obama family church. In the wake of the incident, the Obamas' quit the church last Friday. In a statement released on Tuesday, George said Pfleger, an activist priest who championed the underdog, was also asked to take a couple of weeks off of his pastoral duties for a period of reflection.


STATEMENT OF FRANCIS CARDINAL GEORGE, O.M.I.,
ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO
June 3, 2008

To put recent events in some perspective, I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today.

Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.

I hope also that the life of St. Sabina’s parish may continue in uninterrupted fashion. Fr. William Vanecko, Pastor of St. Kilian’s parish, will be temporary administrator of St. Sabina’s and will assure the full complement of ministerial services during this period. I ask the members of St. Sabina’s parish to cooperate with him and to keep him and Fr. Pfleger in their prayers. They are in mine.

17 Comments

Dear CardinalGeorge, I appreciate you taking prompt action in this matter but feel it is"too little too late" He should be removed permanently. I feel he is instilling hatred of whites in his black parishioners.Do we really need a white priest doing the work of the black extremists? Please consider how this reflects on the whole body of the church. We don`t need any more scandal. A Catholic for 79 years, Joan Clancy 911 east 10th. st. Port Angeles, Wa. 98362

Cardinal, I attend Mass every day and in one speech your Father pfleger destroyed everyting that I try to accomplish. You can't believe the comments that I receive. We should be preaching and living love not remarks like his. I volunteer to all kinds of people regarless of race etc. You and your pastor should be so ashamed. When we help others there should be no strings attached. Just read the Bible. Our Lord wouldn't advocate this. Radical behavior is wrong in most cases. Cardinal, this really hurts the Church. Sincerely bill berns PS I have a good friend that is a priest that has been in the inner city of Detroit for over 30 days. He preaches love and unity/ I'm sure he is frustrated with the conditions in his parish but preaching hate etc. isn't the answer.

Isn't this the wrong headline? It looks like he's been temporarily suspended, rather than "removed". That's what CNN is reporting too. Which is it?

Thanks.

I don't believe that removing him at all when solve the problem that people really have. What he said was turth. The Clinton's pulled out everything they could do to stop Obama. It's a race for crying out loud!!! They are competeing to WIN!!! Father Mike didn't say anything wrong. People were so quick to remove church from the schools based on one man's Opinion and now we are allowing politics to control the church!!! GOD have mercy on all of us!!!

These men purporting mocking humiliation towards another are certainly not men of God. Ask yourself this, how would Jesus have acted if he were alive today. Enough said.

Father Pfleger needs to be permanently removed from Saint Sabina parish. Did Fr. Pfleger ever teach or follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

I would love to see Saint Sabina have Tridentine Latin Mass every Sunday as well as other traditional devotions. Fr. Pfleger mocked the teachings of the Catholic Church. Saint Sabina parishoners deserve the fullness of the Catholic faith and need to hear the truth.

Saint Sabina is long overdue for a new pastor. I pray Cardinal George selects orthodox priests from Chicago or Africa to bring the truth to Saint Sabina.

THE CARDINAL REMOVES PFLEGER THE DAY BARACK OBAMA MAKES HISTORY!
VERY POOR TIMING, VERY DISRESPECTFUL ON THIS HISTORY MAKING DAY!
THE CARDINAL COULD HAVE WAITED OR NOT DONE IT AT ALL!
I WONDER WHO PUT PRESSURE ON HIM TO DO THIS!

so the good cardinal sent pfleger on vacation...how nice..i know it will make a big difference in his thoughts on what he said in the church.not!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, FIFTY years of the church knowing about pedophile priests, moving them around the country like a shell and pea game with the wink wink nod nod of chiefly republican party prosecutors---and so in debt from paying off families that they sell chicago's WLUW community radio--but quick action on Phleger and his jerky comments.

They got the second part right, at least. Why didn't they get the pedophile priests out as fast?
THEIR MISOGYNY IS WELL INGRAINED. If women were priests---none of this would have happened.

Fr. Mike may not agree with the Cardinal's decision, but hopefully he is still enough of a priest to be obedient.

To respond to LAC, Jesus would have rebuked the men who claimed they were acting in a Godly fashion doing the work of God when they forgot His radical message, His Way and followed their own way instead. How do I know? This is EXACTLY what He did when he was walking the earth and had His ministry. Now, if any of those men accepted his rebuke, (some did, and some didn't), and if they repented and asked for forgiveness, He would have readily granted that as well as He still does today as the Living Christ.

It is unChristian, disgusting and saddening what Fr. Pfleger did May 25th in the pulpit (it would have been disgusting anywhere). It was wrong, it was a sin, and it was a major breach of the sacred trust he accepted as a Christian and as a Catholic priest.
It disgusted me completely and hurt all of us. But I can only think the reason is a type of "battle fatigue" with all the things going on at once in his life. He came unhinged, and let go and followed his own way and gratified his own desires. We have all done this in our lives. Only he did it BIG and he did it from the pulpit as a man of God, a disciple of Christ, and he did it before an audience he is supposed to lead to Christ, not away from Christ. I make no excuse whatsoever for him or for his behavior on May 25, but excusing and forgiving are two very different things.

It is also unChristian, disgusting and saddening for all of us and for the entire Body of Christ to be unwilling forgive him and give him an opportunity to accept the rebuke and censure, and return not only chastened by it but to have the opportunity for renewal of the good and true spiritual work and warfare he was doing before this spiritual breakdown. So when someone does a harm, do we perpetrate it by taking the same stance against them-- reviling them, name-calling, denying their good points and their denigrating their very humanity? No.

The Cardinal literally gave him a break. Can't we all do the same?

I feel that removing him for good is the better choice.

It matters what you say;
it matters what you do.

Scott, you are right. A suspension, not a removal......This would have been avoided had Pfleger made a sincere apology, no that excuse for an apology he made.. Fact, he has black people thinking he's their champion. Because he has a few programs (mostly we taxpayer funded) and taunts whites while most white folks see him as a attention-seeking race baiter. Nothing more, nothing less. His followers always say, "but he's done some good things, which should override this last debacle." I ask, "where were these same thoughts when Don Imus was left out to be canned?" And Imus has done so many good things (especially with sick children) and used his OWN money....Solution: To prove he's not a race-baiter and for the poor like he claims, why doesn't he do, lets say 18 months, in Appalachia where the people are mostly white and far-poorer then the folks on the southside. Then he can return in good-standing to St. Sabina having proved he's a uniter, not a divider...comments, folks?

We love u so much we don't want u to go please you the best pastor ever

DON IMUS COULDN'T CARRY FATHER MIKE'S LUNCH BUCKET!

linda O. didn't say that I did!

You got it mixed up

Laura

I HOPE AND PRAY ST. SABINA SURVIVES, THERE ARE ALOT OF PARISHES
ON THE SOUTHSIDE THAT ARE DEFUNCT, FATHER MIKE KEPT THIS PARISH
ALIVE AND KICKING, I'M ASKING THAT HE BE GIVEN HIS DUTIES BACK
AFTER THE TWO WEEKS SUSPENSION!
HE HAS PROVEN WHAT HE CAN DO, LET'S NOT HOLD GRUDGES, GIVE THE
MAN THE CHANCE TO RIGHT THE WRONG!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 3, 2008 4:12 PM.

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