Tag Archives: Michael Pfleger

Radio host Smiley at St. Sabina

From the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, an emailed reminder:

Tavis Smiley will be at the church Saturday, 5/21 to discuss his new book, Fail Up. Mr. Smiley will be here from 12 pm to 2 pm. in McMahon Hall.

It was on Smiley’s show that Fr. Pfleger made the public statement that if he could not preach at St. Sabina, he would do so at Protestant churches.

I want to try to stay in the Catholic Church. If they say You either take this principalship of (Leo High) or pastorship there or leave, then Ill have to look outside the church. I believe my calling is to be a pastor. I believe my calling is to be a voice for justice. I believe my calling is to preach the Gospel. In or out of the church, Im going to continue to do that.

That did it for Cardinal George, who suspended him.

Nonetheless, he’s still pastor, to judge by the flyer.

What a friend he has in Tavis.


Roeser on Pfleger-George: Nice try . . .

In today’s e-blast, Tom Roeser expatiates on possible pseudo-solution to the Card. George-Fr. Pfleger impasse.  (The ball is in P’s “corner,” says Card. G., who is not good at sports terminology.)  Roeser speculates that it will be dissolved in a splurge of ecclesiastical realpolitik and takes a shot at an agreeement:

Q.  Not that you have a glimmer of what a possible settlement would be?
A. I don’t. But suppose…just suppose… there comes an offer for Pfleger to head up a newly created archdiocesan office of Social Justice…so he could visit a number of parishes and do variants of his St. Sabina’s act with a hand mike where he bounced off the walls imitating Hillary Clinton. Wouldn’t that be ducky?

No, no, no.  Wldn’t fly with Fr. P., unless (maybe) he could live at St. S. and preach there on Sundays.  The extra-St. Sabina stuff he does is ancillary.  He’s married to the parish — which he never calls a parish, preferring church or congregation or faith community, because (I say) parish says unit of archdiocese, which has no place in P’s playbook.  And he considers divorce immoral. 

In St. S. he has a stable home, a place to belong to, where he can feel the love.  He will not go gently into the dark night of unaffiliation.  In my opinion.

Who owns St. Sabina parish anyway?

Fr. Pfleger’s executive assistant objects to the arrival at the St. Sabina rectory of the new priest.

“Can you just imagine somebody moving into your house that really was not invited by us,” said Kimberly Lymore, the Associate Minister at the Faith Community of St. Sabina.

She’s been misled. It’s not her house, nor the parish council’s. That matter was decided a long time ago, when “trusteeism” was squelched in the American church by Rome.

Trusteeism controversy

ca. 18151840

In its infancy, the Catholic Church in America relied on the initiative and benevolence of laypeople to an extraordinary degree. Lacking priests, many early parishes were established and managed by laity. As the nation grew and the clerical personnel of the Church increased, priests and bishops sought to standardize the Church’s organization in accord with canon law and common practice. The result in some localities was tensionand sometimes hostilitybetween pastors and bishops on one side and lay trustees on the other. Significant battles over control of parishes occurred at St. Mary’s in Philadelphia and in New York, among other places.

Indeed, there is little new under the sun when it comes to the Roman church, periodic clerical chutzpah notwithstanding.

Pfleger to Leo? You’re kidding

What part of the Pfleger resume led Cardinal George to think he would make a good president of Leo Catholic HS? The church is a depository and guardian of deep mysteries. This is not one of them, but for passing attention it qualifies.

Leo High, named after Pope Leo XIII, friend of the working man, opened in 1926, the father school of two other Irish Christian Brothers-run operations. But unlike Jesuits, Dominicans, Carmelites and others, the Brothers neither founded nor funded it. The Brothers run diocesan schools, as did and do the De La Salle (French-origin) Brothers, who have “D” and St. Pat’s if not others. So the archdiocesan CEO has a say in who’s president. Question is, why Pfleger?

I am bothered intensely by the apparent answer to that question, namely to provide a dumping ground for Fr. P., one he presumably (bad assessment of situation here) could not refuse, when faced with such brilliant (not) Machiavellian strategy.

Is there another CEO in the Chicago area or state or nation who would name Fr. P. among the thousand, nay ten thousand potential high-school presidents, worthy of consideration to fill the next opening? No, he would not be in the running for that or any other educational leadership post.

Not to say I have a brilliant strategy of my own. I just know a bad one when I see it.

To S-T on McClory on Fr. Pfleger & Cardinal George

Letter to S-T:

Dear Editor:

Bob McClory’s argument for keeping Fr. Pfleger at St. Sabina parish limps in several respects.

First, it’s Bob’s own credentials for limiting Cardinal George’s authority in this case, Bob being an enthusiastic proponent of new limitations on bishops’ authority in general.  Indeed, the Pfleger case fits his predilection for espousing radical change in the church.

Second, he (rightly) praises Pfleger’s pastoral availability to the bereaved and suffering — a combination of high profile achieved by Pfleger himself and Pfleger’s abundant empathy.  But nothing in his transfer from St. Sabina would interfere with that, even work as president of a high school.  He could be equally available to bereaved and badly treated people.

Third, he says the cardinal has handled this badly, to which I ask, Pfleger hasn’t?

— Jim Bowman

The Farrakhan-Pfleger connection . . . again

Blogging Central, we have a problem: how to read about Minister Farrakhan and his benefactor Gadhafi without thinking of his very close friend and avid defender Fr. Pfleger. As seen here:
Over, Blogging Central.

Chi Trib on evils to ensue from Pfleger transfer

There was a time — I remember it well — when a piece like this on Fr. Pfleger, wholly sympathetic to his staying at St. Sabina’s, would not have run without comment by Cardinal George, or lacking that, explanation that he was not available, etc.

Give Manya Brachear a column, already, and even then urge on her once-standard journalistic practices.

Yet another Pfleger hullabaloo-who?

Hullabaloo Soundtrack

Wuxtry, wuxtry, read all about it!

Manya Brachear in her blog, Chi Trib’s only coverage of the latest Pfleger episode:

Pfleger’s flock fears that a new priest handpicked by Cardinal Francis George will dismantle anything that doesn’t adhere to church guidelines, but enriches their worship and brings them closer to God.

Careless, I hope. She meant to write “enriches their worship and THEY SAY brings them closer to God.” As I say, I hope she meant that. Otherwise, you have an unseemly, un-journalistic identifying with a subject, unworthy of her calling.

Moreover, she argues a position:

The mere fact that Pfleger is still at St. Sabina after nearly 30 years illustrates an exception to the rule that permits priests to stay at one church for two six-year terms, or up to 12 years. By-the-book Catholics have frowned on Pflegers exemption for years.

Unless “illustrates an exception” is a laboring of the obvious, that Pfleger has plowed his own path. We know that.

However, she has a good news item that I have not read elsewhere, though I suspected it:

[President of Leo HS Dan] McGrath [Leo alum, ex-Trib sports editor] said progress also has been made repairing the schools relationship with Pfleger, which had soured in recent years. [Italics

It’s disconcerting, however, to read the lede:

The hullabaloo regarding whether the Rev. Michael Pfleger will stay at St. Sabina Catholic Church has become something of a traditional rite in Chicagos Roman Catholic Archdiocese, much like the 40 days of Lent. [Heh]

Here’s how it always unfolds: Rumors swirl with no one willing to confirm or deny them. His fans rally for him to stay. His foes rally for him to go. Non-statements are issued. The rumors are put to rest and everyone goes back to business as usual. Why do we care?

A blog is less formal, let-hair-down kind of writing, but no matter the venue, you don’t want to ask that question in the second paragraph article or item and then go on for many paragraphs more.

Flash: In a Breaking News story posted 20 minutes ago that draws heavily on the blogged one, Pfleger says he is writing a reponse to the archdiocese “but wouldn’t say to what he was responding.”

Stay tuned. Everyone loves a hullabaloo.

Pfleger asked to leave Sabina?

Father Michael Pfleger Of St. Sabina Church (w...

Rev. Michael Pfleger in talks with archdiocese to take over struggling Leo High School, a few blocks from the St. Sabina rectory, says Jay Levine of CBS-2, as carried by Sun-Times.

To which Pfleger: neither confirm nor deny:

I’m in discussions with the Archdiocese but you know those are private conversations at this point and I cant comment at this point about those conversations.

Some creative thinking here?

Later: He’s going to fight this, says a Blithe Spirit source.

Yet later: He’s mobilizing the troops:

In response to the news broadcasts about St. Sabina, The Cabinet is  holding a Parish Town Hall Meeting in the Church Sanctuary on Thursday, March 17th at 7pm. This meeting is for St. Sabina Members only.

In an email to list recipients.  Stay tuned.

Farrakhan on the Jews

Current Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan

What a friend he has in Muammar

There he goes again:

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said on Tuesday that Jews and Zionists are trying to push the US into war and that Zionists dominate the US government and banks.

Farrakhan, 77, made the comments at the Nation of Islams annual meeting near Chicago.

His friend Muammar:

President Obama, Farrakhan said, if you allow the Zionists to push you, to mount a military offensive against Gaddafi and you go in and kill him and his sons, as you did with Saddam Hussein and his sons… Im warning you this is a Libyan problem, let the Libyans solve their problem among themselves.

Farrakhan called Muammar Gaddafi my brother and my friend.

It’s a matter of religious belief:

Some of you think that Im just somebody whos got something out for the Jewish people, Farrakhan said. Youre stupid.

Do you think I would waste my time if I did not think it was important for you to know Satan? My job is to pull the cover off of Satan so that he will never deceive you and the people of the world again.

Anti-Defamation League response:

ADL National Director Abe Foxman said in response that, Anti-Semitism has suffused the Nation of Islams message, and Farrakhan is the standard bearer and bigot in chief… Perhaps what’s more disturbing is that despite his anti-Semitic rants, he has not been made a pariah in his own community. What does it take for him to stop being a pied piper of hatred?

For starters, Fr. Michael Pfleger could disown him. Won’t happen, of course. What a reflection on Pfleger is his friendship with and endorsement of Farrakhan, including his anti-semitism. What a disgrace.

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