ROME (CBS) – Chicago’s Cardinal George travels to Rome amid many unanswered questions about his suspension of Father Michael Pfleger.
His silence about the action — beyond releasing a letter to local media — will likely continue at the Vatican, where George is attending ceremonies to beatify Pope John Paul II.
George on Wednesday suspended Pfleger as pastor at St. Sabina’s, where he has led the African-American congregation for more than 30 years. The Cardinal expressed frustration at Pfleger’s ongoing public statements and his threat to potentially leave the Catholic church if he was transferred.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, who is in Rome, reports that Cardinal George is expected to meet with Chicago reporters at least twice over the next four days. But a spokesman said the Cardinal will not answer any questions about the Pfleger controversy.
If that’s the case, there will undoubtedly be awkward moments every time he talks about the late Pope and what he means to Chicago’s 2.3 million Roman Catholics. John Paul II had a special relationship with Chicago, largely because of the size of the city’s Polish population.
Cardinal George in the past has always been open and accessible during his trips to Rome. The next few days, however, are probably going to be different.