Cardinal Cupich returns Fr. Michael Pfleger to active ministry after four months of internal investigation; SNAP reacts

CHICAGO (IL)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [St. Louis MO]

May 24, 2021

A popular Southside pastor in the Archdiocese of Chicago will be returned to his parish months after being accused of child sexual abuse. We hope that Catholic officials will provide a detailed explanation as to how the allegations of three men were deemed  “insufficient” to determine that the priest was guilty of the accusations. 

CardinalBlasé Cupich announced today that Fr. Michael Pfleger would return to active ministry next month at theparish where he had worked for years. Since we know that a false allegation of sexual abuse is extremely rare, and that there were at least three allegations in this case, we urge the Archdiocese to provide more information on the investigation.

In January of this year, Fr. Pfleger stepped down following an allegation of sexually abusing a minor over 40 years ago. Later that same month, a second man came forward with similar accusations. Both accused the Catholic priest of grooming and molesting them. A third man came forward in March, alleging that he too was sexually assaulted by Fr. Pfleger at the age of 18.

The activist cleric denied all of the allegations. Parishioners and community members rallied to support Fr. Pfleger, disbelieving the three men who came forward.

We here at SNAP believe those who have come forward and we think that this situation demonstrates the ongoing need for all allegations to be reported to and investigated by secular authorities. We call on the Archdiocese of Chicago to be more transparent about their investigation process in all cases of sex abuse that come to the review board. The Cardinal needs to help the community understand this seemingly quick internal and unfathomable result.

CONTACT:  Larry Antonsen, SNAP Chicago (773-255-3382, chicagosnapnetwork@gmail.com), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, mmcdonnell@snapnetwork.org) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

https://www.snapnetwork.org/cardinal_cupich_returns_fr_michael_pfleger_active_ministry_four_months_internal_investigation_snap_may21