CHICAGO (CBS 2) – His future is in God’s hands. Those words from Father Michael Pfleger to his congregation today concerning The Archdiocese’s plans to reassign the controversial Catholic priest. CBS 2′s Vince Gerasole reports while saying little publicly, Pfleger did give an indication of the argument he’s making to remain on the job.
“My desire is to remain at Saint Sabina, that’s my desire, that’s where I want to be, ” said Father Michael Pfleger.
Greeted with applause , Pfleger assured his South Side congregation he wants to remain their pastor. He also told parishioners whatever the outcome , Saint Sabina will remain strong.
“Saint Sabina will not fall apart or the community will not be devastated because of Mike Pfleger, ” he said.
At a traditionally sedate lenten mass in Bridgeport, Cardinal Francis George made no comments about a possible reassignment for the often controversial pastor.
In stark contrast, at roughly the same time Father Pfleger presided over a jubilant ceremony that is typical of St. Sabina and its mostly black congregation. It is a reflection of his nearly thirty years at the parish.
“In this country and in Chicago, African American churches are struggling to stay open, ” he said.
From the pulpit the priest who has been able to remain at one church far longer than most hinted at the themes that may be contained in a private letter he’s sent to the Cardinal.
“We have tried to present for the church universal that there is a model that is different that can work that will feed people and allow people to feel empowered, ” he said.
Often outspoken on issues of gun violence and social justice, Pfleger is reportedly being asked by The Archdiocese to take over the presidency of nearby Leo Catholic High School . It’s little consolation to Parishioners who pray he remains.
As further proof that Saint Sabina has been an exceptionally successful parish under his leadership, Pfleger reminded the congregation the church has been financially sound since his appointment in 1989.