Daley: Pfleger Has Been ‘A Wonderful Friend To Many People’

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — Mayor Richard M. Daley won’t say anything about the differences between the Rev. Michael Pfleger and Francis Cardinal George, but he praises the suspended priest.

“Father Pfleger’s a personal friend of mine, and an activist in our community about gun violence; about misuse of guns, and supporting gun legislation in Springfield and Washington, D.C.; marches; talking to people who’ve lost loved ones. He’s been at the forefront,” Daley said. “He’s been a wonderful priest; a wonderful friend to many people.”

Cardinal George suspended Pfleger from his pastoral duties at St. Sabina Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, following comments he made about a possible reassignment to nearby Leo high School.

Earlier this month, Pfleger told the public radio program “Smiley and West” that if it came to a choice to become president of Leo High School, to become pastor of another Catholic church, or to leave the church, he would look at the third option.

“I want to try to stay in the Catholic Church. If they say, ‘You either take this principalship at the high school or the pastorship there, or leave, then I have to look outside the church,” he said.

George responded in the letter announcing Pfleger’s suspension, “If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and therefore are not able to pastor a Catholic parish.”

On Wednesday, parishioners at St. Sabina took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Sun-Times protesting the move. 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?”

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.

  • Robert

    Why do the parishoners at St. Sabina think they are being shown disrespect? Have they considered the fact that the Cardinal may feel Phleger’s abilities are needed at Leo HS? I am tired of the “poor me” attitude. Pride is a sin and a priest takes a vow of obedience. It is time Phleger humbled himself a bit.

    • Linda

      if he is truly following God, which I KNOW he is, no obedience is necessary to the manmade chiurch, which is the Roman Catholic church. He is truly blessed and obeying the Lord. I wish I could know him.

  • Linda

    the Bible says “come out from among them and be ye separate” yes, it is time to come out from among them. Have waited for this moment for years. When someone is called by the Spirit of God, no man has the right to say otherwise. Michael Pfleger is followiing his heart, and his heart is following the one true living God, Yahweh.

  • QPS

    It is about time Rules are rules if you do not like the rules then leave. He did not follow the rules in High School I pattern was establlshed then..He still does not follow the rules even to testing his suspension…Let him go If others follow then they are not true Catholics they are Pflegerists

  • Linda

    The Holy Bible has all the “rules” we need. They are called the Ten Commandments.

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