UPDATED 05/04/11 6:03 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — In the latest salvo in a very public battle over the leadership at St. Sabina, members of the church put their thoughts in black and white today–with a full-page advertisement in the Chicago Sun-Times.
CBS 2′s Roseanne Tellez talked with some church members about provocative questions raised in the ad.
The general premise is that the St. Sabina community has been disrespected after Cardinal George suspended their longtime pastor, Father Michael Pfleger, over Pfleger’s threats to leave the Catholic Church rather than accept a transfer to the presidency of Leo High School.
The ad, headlined “Setting the Record Straight”, features a full-page letter in which church members take offense at not being given an opportunity to share their concerns with Cardinal George.
And the provocative questions, include, “Are we disrespected because we are in the black community on 79th and Racine?”
“If it was a church on the North Shore would they be treating people like that?” said Kimberly Lymore, St Sabina’s associate minister. “Because we rise up, why are we being rebellious?”
“I think the lack of respect may come from the lack of communication with the Archdiocese of Chicago and the faith community of St Sabina,” said Vince Clark, an assistant to Pfleger. “And that communication is zero.”
The ad also claims Cardinal George had already agreed to a succession plan for Father Pfleger’s departure.
That plan would have St Sabina administrator Father Thulani Magwaza taking over in the next few years.
Church members want to stress that no church money was used to pay for the ad, which according to the rates at the Sun-Times website, would have been between $7,500 and $12,000.
The Archdiocese had no reaction today to the ad.