Cardinal Cupich reinstates Father Michael Pfleger to ministry

By Chicago Catholic
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Cardinal Cupich announced in a letter to parishioners of the Faith Community of St. Sabina on May 24 that he was reinstating Father Michael Pfleger as senior pastor effective the weekend of June 5-6.

“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 cardinal wrote in the letter.

“The Review Board has concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations,” he said. “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,” Cardinal Cupich said. “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,” the cardinal said, “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.”

Addressing parishioners during a press conference from the church’s front steps May 24, Father Pfleger said: “I am innocent of those charges and accusations. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am to God and to all those who prayed for me and supported me through this painful time.”

He promised to return to his work of fighting injustice.

“We are going to continue to fight every injustice we see,” he told parishioners, noting that the next day would be the first anniversary of George’s Floyd’s death at the hands of police, “and yet racism, injustice, unemployment, food insecurity and bigotry and prejudice continue to reign in this country. Let’s get back to work.”


  • clergy sexual abuse

Related Articles