Category Archives: cardinal george

>REACT: Father Pfleger’s return to his throne … ah … pulpit?

>Father Michael Pfleger is back at the pulpit. Cardinal George, who suspended the priest errant for two meaningless weeks of abstinence from the Saint Sabina sacristy, has given more evidence of his disappointing reign as the bishop of the Chicago Archdiocese.

The mini-banishment was the result of the brouhaha that followed Pfleger’s sexist and racist over-the-top performance at Obama’s former church, where “Trinity” refers to Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan and Michael Pfleger. The latter’s mockery of Hillary Clinton was only the vehicle for a larger rant against non-black America.

Shortly after his satirical impersonation of a black preacher hit You Tube, the very Arian looking Pfleger issued a less-than-apologetic mea culpa. I am sure Pfleger was sorry that he caused Barack Obama to resign from Trinity. I am sure he was sorry he received a personal rebuke from Obama. Even in regret, however, Pfleger never took responsibility for his actions, expressed sincere remorse, or demonstrated a firm commitment not to repeat his transgression – the three requirements for Catholic confession and forgiveness. He gave no evidence that he was sorry for the thrust of his message. His sorrow was more like the regret of a bank robber over getting caught — not the crime. The only people who accepted his apology were those who thought he was right to do what he did, in the first place.

It should have been the last straw, but Cardinal George treated like it was a unique lapse. The punishment was less than the slap on the back of the hand that nuns applied in the days of the old Catholic Church. Perhaps he was intimidated by the lavish media praise the press traditionally bestows on religious apostasy – especially by left-of-center preachers.

Oh, Perhaps it was the zealous demonstration of support from Pfleger’s followers at Saint Sabina, who each Sunday absorb and endorse Pfleger’s homilies of racial paranoia and divisiveness. Their You Tube-captured applauds, cheers and “amens” demonstrated a disturbing resonance with Pastor Pfleger’s anti white diatribes. It would appear that those who take up the pews function more like a cult than a congregation devoted to a good and greater God. Like many other narcissistic, egomaniacal and charismatic personalities, Pfleger has his following.

That is what is so disturbing about his triumphant return. Yes, triumphant. Pfleger returned to HIS throne to the rapturesque cheers and hosannas of HIS congregation. These are clearly HIS people. There was no sense of embarrassment over Pfleger’s statements and rebukes by both Obama and George. Absent was the humility of a true penitent. So powerful is his messianic message that many “members’ of Saint Sabina are not even Catholic. They are there for the political, not the priestly, Pfleger. Every exuberant alleluia was a proverbial fist in the face of Cardinal George.

Pfleger, has been allowed to remain pastor at Saint Sabina’s for more than 25 years – well past the time church policy normally requires a move. He is a good example of why that policy is a good one. It is designed to remind the parishioners that the pastor is NOT the church. It is designed to prevent the cult-ification of a congregation. George had a great opportunity to restore Saint Sabina to the communion of the Catholic Church. Carpe Diem! The Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago failed. Though his stature outside the parish may be deservedly diminished by his antics, Father Pfleger returns to Saint Sabina the clear victor.