The Archbishop of Chicago has asked Father Michael Pfleger to take a few weeks off to reflect. Kudos to the Archbishop for taking a stand.
The statement from Francis Cardinal George says that Fr. Pfleger disagreed with him on his enforced vacation but obviously the Cardinal was not taking no for an answer. Some reports out there are saying that Pfleger has been removed, as in permanently but that doesn’t seem to be the case -at least from what I’ve read.
The statement is here. As much as I like to see this happen, I can’t help but feel a little for Father Pfleger. Keep Father Pfleger in your prayers.
STATEMENT OF FRANCIS CARDINAL GEORGE, O.M.I.,
ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO
June 3, 2008
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 hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.
I hope also that the life of St. Sabina’s parish may continue in uninterrupted fashion. Fr. William Vanecko, Pastor of St. Kilian’s parish, will be temporary administrator of St. Sabina’s and will assure the full complement of ministerial services during this period. I ask the members of St. Sabina’s parish to cooperate with him and to keep him and Fr. Pfleger in their prayers. They are in mine.
Pfleger was quoted as saying these are the most difficult days of his life. This from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Over the weekend, he said that the days since his Trinity address had been the most difficult of his life, even more painful than when his foster son Jarvis was gunned down near St. Sabina on May 30, 1998. I’ve spoken to Pfleger many times about Jarvis’ death and couldn’t believe he said this. It sounded like the worst kind of narcissism, and I told him so. He told me that, when Jarvis was killed, he was angry with God and didn’t understand why God had allowed it to happen. But he knew Jarvis’ death was not his fault. He hadn’t shot his foster child. The difference between that pain and this, he said, is that, essentially, he shot himself and his church.
I’m sorry. Don’t his priorities seem just a little out of whack? He feels worse about short circuiting Obama’s candidacy then his foster son getting killed? This is a man badly in need of a few weeks reflection.