Father Michael Pfleger responds that after being accused of sexual abuse of a child 40 years ago, he has moved away from the service of St. Sabina: Archdiocese

CHICAGO (WLS) – Father Michael Pfleger responded on Wednesday to an allegation that he had sexually abused a child.

Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich sent a letter to St. Sabina Parish on Tuesday informing them that Father Pfleger was leaving his service after being accused of child sexual abuse.

In his letter, Cupich said the Chicago Archdiocese’s Child Abuse Investigation and Review Bureau had accepted charges of sexual abuse of a child more than 40 years ago.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, Pfleger put it this way: “I can’t answer the hundreds of texts, emails and calls I’ve received from across the country since yesterday. I’m destroyed, offended and very angry, but I’m the first person of faith, I trust In God.Please keep me in prayer and in the Sacred Community of Sabina.The diocese has asked me not to speak.I am currently blessed with good leadership and wonderful members. Whom I love. I stand by this and my faith … The Lord is my Shepherd ….. I love you .. .. “

According to Cupich, Pfleger agreed to step aside from his ministry and live away from the parish during the investigation. Father Thulani Magwaza will temporarily be the administrator of the parish of St. Sabina and will visit the church and the school.

CLICK HERE to read Cardinal Cupich’s letter

According to Cupich, the allegation did not prove to be true or false, so no guilt or innocence should be presumed.

St. Sabina responded in a statement, saying in part, “We, the Cabinet of the St. Sabina Community, believe that these allegations are unfounded and that we stand boldly behind the integrity, passion, work and service of our pastor. that the process and protocol of the Diocese of Chicago exist and we will cooperate fully, but we believe that our senior pastor will be completely relieved of all charges and will stand with him in this process as he stood with the victims of injustice and continues to uplift his work and life, [sic] committed to serving others. “

CLICK HERE to read the full statement from St. Sabina

His supporters, Fr. Pfleger, gathered in front of St. Sabina on Wednesday. The history of the church with victims of sexual abuse was also mentioned. While they support the longtime priest, they also respect that in this case the victim should be heard.

“For a potential victim, their story should be deserved.” said Ja’Mal Green, a community activist. “Everyone has a story. Everyone has a truth. We want to hear. We want to hear. I think this investigation needs to happen and this investigation needs to be fast, but think about the damage this community is doing now and then,” when he comes back, so we want to make sure the public knows the type of man that Pfleger Fr.

Pfleger, 71, became priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1975 and pastor of St. Sabina in 1981. He has been one of the city’s most outspoken and politically active leaders for decades. He led an anti-violent march last Thursday.

The indictment was also reported to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services and the Cook County State attorney, as was the policy, Cupich said in a letter.
“It is crucial that you know that nothing is more important than the well-being of the children entrusted to our care,” the letter concluded in part.

Officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago said they learned of the charges Monday afternoon. They have no knowledge of the charges related to the charges. They refused to provide further details beyond the letter.

The archdiocese made no further comments or will give them on Tuesday. Father Pfleger did not respond to comments from ABC7 Eyewitness News.

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