At Issue: Father George Clements Honored For His Activism And Service

CHICAGO (CBS) — Activist priest, Father George Clements, who was the first black pastor at Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, will be honored and celebrated Wednesday at the Hilton Chicago for his 60 years in clergy and being at the forefront of many issues.

Father George Clements is perhaps best known as the first Catholic priest to adopt a child. He started the “One Church, One Child” program to encourage adoptions of African American children.

Fr. Clements is now 85-years-old and recently joined an anti-violence march, The Way of the Cross Walk at St. Benedict The African Church, on Good Friday. He was outspoken about how church people – clergy and parishioners – need to get out more to confront such problems. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

“These people who are going out, we call them gang bangers or whatever, killing folks – they are not in pews on Sunday. They are not in the church,” Fr. Clements said. “I know if Jesus was around, he would not be hiding behind some stained-glass windows. He would be out there in the alleys, in the highways and byways. Right out there with all those people that are getting involved in violence and things of a negative context. That’s what we have to do in the church today.”

Fr. Clements, who is being honored for his 60 years in the priesthood, said church people need to take to the streets to fight violence in the communities.

Father George Clements is WBBM’s guest on our At Issue program this weekend. Listeners can hear more on Fr. Clements views on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

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