Fr. Pfleger Is Suspended

As noted by Ed Morrissey and The Anchoress, ABC News is reporting that Fr. Pfleger the Catholic priest, friend of Senator Obama, has been suspended by his bishop.

Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, just issued the following statement about controversial Obama friend Father Michael Pfleger:

“To put recent events in some perspective, I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests.

I’m certain that someone will write or say that he’s been suspended for ‘mocking’ Sen. Clinton (which he did), or for ‘bringing scandal to the church’ (which he also did). It’s much closer to the truth, I think, that he is suspended for breaching the wall between Church and State – for mixing religion with politics. Most people don’t realize that it is the religion institutions that are sullied when this happens, not the state institutions.

Here’s a YouTube clip of Fr. Pfleger at the pulpit.

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5 Comments on “Fr. Pfleger Is Suspended”

  1. Vita Says:

    actually, I heard an abc news radio report yesterday that said he’d been suspended “for this,” and then they played a snip of his infamous tape, saying, “I’m white, I’m entitled,” and not mentioning Hillary at all…so they made it sound like (if you didn’t know better) he was a white supremacist.

  2. 4wrdthnkndad Says:

    I don’t think this is about breaching the wall between Church and State, Clinton comments, or scandalizing the church-which by the way, the Catholic Church has done quite well regardless of Fr. Pfleger. It appears to me the past three Cardinals have been trying for some time to shut him down. It is clear they don’t approve of his autonomous behavior. I suspect however they are grateful for the money collected from a thriving parish and good will it gains from his involvement with his community. However they don’t appear to like his differentiation from the old school, stay in line, keep your mouth shut ways of ministering.

  3. joe Says:

    Vita – Yes, I’m seeing conflicting reports about the reasons for his dismissal. The Bishop’s own words seemed more generic to me, and implied no one reason. That’s probably as it should be.

    4wrd – Pflieger certainly does have a history of (what’s been construed as) political activism. Or so I’m led to believe. Now, did you mean by “autonomous behavior” his actions outside of the Church? Um… the priesthood is not a 9-5 job, and a priest is always a priest, you know (whether he has assigned duties or not is another question). When he spoke at Trinity, he spoke for the Church. He overstepped his bounds (and assignment, I suspect) and it’s cost him his job.

    Yeah – The ministry is old school. Over a thousand years old, I hear. And I can guarantee that Catholics are not about to change it soon.

  4. 4wrdthnkndad Says:

    Joe-When I say “autonomous behavior,” I am speaking to actions that are not consistant with the majority of priests. For example, he ministers in a non-traditional way. And when you are dealing with a community that is marked by poverty, crime, and neglect: it seems approriate to think outside of the box. And I agree the priesthood is a 24/7 job. And I agree that when he spoke, he spoke as a representative of the Catholic Church. However if you have ever attended his services, you know that the tone and presentation of message have been going on for some time, with the full knowledge of the Catholic church. So I would say i don’t think the punishment fits the crime.

    As for the ministry being thousands of years old, I dare say I am probably more familiar with the workings of the Catholic Church that many. With that said, I hope for all of us you are wrong about the church changing. Considering that old school thinking is also what supported, enabled, and covered up the sexual abuse scandal-I hope there is an openess to change.

    Heck-Latin masses are gone. You can receive communion in your hand. You can go to confession face to face. And you can go to mass on Saturdays-so who is to say the Catholic Church can’t change.

  5. 4wrdthnkndad Says:

    Perhaps the Cardinal’s decision to let Fr. Pfleger return to St. Sabina with minimal restrictions can be experienced as a thousand year old institution making a change.


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