WGN-TV [Chicago IL]
May 24, 2021
Cardinal Blase Cupich is reinstating the Rev. Michael Pfleger to his post as senior pastor at St. Sabina Catholic Parish.
A letter to the community from Cupich says a review of abuse allegations against Pfleger shows “no reason to suspect” he is guilty of the accusations.
Cupich has asked Pfleger to take a couple weeks to prepare himself to return and he has agreed. He will be reinstated as pastor the weekend of June 5 and 6.
St. Sabina scheduled a news conference at 3 p.m. Monday in which Pfleger gave his first public statement in months.
“I am innocent of those charges and accusations and I cannot tell you how grateful I am to God and all those who supported me and prayed to me during this time,” Pfleger said. “This has been the most difficult and trying time of my life. I have been frustrated, I have been angry, I have been depressed and I have been discouraged.”
The entire letter from Cardinal Blase Cupich below.
Dear Members of the Faith Community of St. Sabina,
Thank you for your patience and prayers during the absence of your senior pastor. Father Michael Pfleger. As you know, earlier this year the archdiocese received allegations of child sexual abuse against Father Pfleger. In accordance with our policies for the protection of children and youth, the archdiocese Independent Review Board assisted by our Office of Child Abuse Investigation and Review and outside investigators conducted a thorough review of the allegations.
The Review Board has concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations. Having given careful consideration to their decision, which I accept, I now inform you that I am reinstating Father Pfleger to his position of Senior Pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina, effective the weekend of June 5-6, 2021. I have asked Father Pfleger to take the next two weeks to prepare himself spiritually and emotionally to return, realizing that these months have taken a great toll on him. He has agreed to do so.
The weekend he will return is the Feast of Corpus Christi when we celebrate that we are one in the Body of Christ, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. It is in this spirit that I ask you to welcome back Father Pfleger, thereby helping him take up again the ministry that has distinguished St. Sabina in the archdiocese and beyond.
This past year has been a time of great trial for us all, and our church, our city and society are in need of your witness to Jesus’ love. Please know you will have my support and prayers as you continue to be a light in the community.
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago
This is a developing story. Check back for details.