Pfleger will continue to do what he wants at St. Sabina Church

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Pfleger will continue to do what he wants at St. Sabina Church

Blog­ger on the site of his mother’s child­hood home in Chicago’s Auburn Gre­sham neighborhood

By John Ruberry

You can­not be a slave of two mas­ters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You can­not serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24.

Once again, Father Michael Pfleger, the med­dle­some pas­tor of St. Sabina Catholic Church on Chicago’s South Side, embar­rassed the Arch­dio­cese of Chicago. This time is was over invit­ing Nation of Islam leader Louis Far­rakhan to speak from the altar there shortly after his life­time ban from Face­book over hatemongering.

Pfleger intro­duced Far­rakhan, after rail­ing about First Amend­ment rights, which do not apply to com­pa­nies or cor­po­ra­tions. Far­rakhan then went on to hate­mon­ger some more, when he spoke of “satanic Jews.”

Car­di­nal Blasé Cupich, Pfleger’s boss, con­demned Pfleger’s deci­sion to host Far­rakhan. “With­out con­sult­ing me, Fr. Michael Pfleger invited Min­is­ter Louis Far­rakhan to speak at St. Sabina Church in response to Facebook’s deci­sion to ban him from its plat­forms,” the arch­bishop said in a state­ment.

The state­ment con­tin­ued, “Min­is­ter Far­rakhan could have taken the oppor­tu­nity to deliver a uni­fy­ing mes­sage of God’s love for all his chil­dren. Instead, he repeat­edly smeared the Jew­ish peo­ple, using a com­bi­na­tion of thinly veiled dis­crim­i­na­tory rhetoric and out­right slander.”

That will likely be the end of Cupich’s com­plaint, despite Pfleger’s his­tory of out­ra­geous behav­ior, which include:

Dur­ing a ser­mon at Trin­ity United Church of Christ in 2008 as its then-​pator, the Rev. Jere­miah Wright, looked on, Pfleger role-​played Hillary Clin­ton as Barack Obama was the fron­trun­ner for the Demo­c­ra­tic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, “Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m enti­tled! There’s a black man steal­ing my show!”

Those remarks earned him a sus­pen­sion from Cupich’s pre­de­ces­sor, Car­di­nal Fran­cis George. It appeared that his pas­tor­ship at St. Sabina, which he held since 1975, was over, as he was being maneu­vered by George to become the prin­ci­pal of nearby Leo High School, but Pfleger struck back by say­ing he would con­sider leav­ing the Catholic Church if that hap­pened. So much for being a ser­vant of Christ. George’s retort included, “If that is truly your atti­tude, you have already left the Catholic Church.” George relented about a month later and rein­stated Pfleger.

Sub­ur­ban gun shops have been a fre­quent tar­get of Pfleger’s ire. Dur­ing a protest at one Chuck’s Gun Shop & Range, Pfleger allegedly threat­ened the life of its owner, John Rig­gio. “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Rig­gio. R-​i-​g-​g-​i-​o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out. You know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.”

And when attend­ing protests Pfleger is accom­pa­nied by armed guards.

George was appointed by the more con­ser­v­a­tive Pope John II, Cupich was the pick of Pope Fran­cis, a lib­eral. So it’s a safe bet that Pfleger isn’t leav­ing. The Chicago arch­dio­cese pio­neered six-​year terms for pas­toral assign­ments, which are occa­sion­ally extended in cases when nears retire­ment. Pfleger’s 44-​year run at St. Sabina is an unprece­dented one in the mod­ern Amer­i­can Catholic church.

Also it’s impor­tant to note that despite Catholic churches clos­ing through­out the Chicago area, St. Sabina enjoys a healthy mem­ber­ship and its ele­men­tary school is well-​attended. Its neigh­bor­hood, Auburn Gre­sham, while not as bad as neigh­bor­ing Engle­wood, is a high-​crime area and eco­nom­i­cally dis­tressed. But the two block area sur­round­ing the church appears more pros­per­ous than the rest of Auburn Gre­sham, where coin­ci­den­tally my late mother grew up. You get the feel­ing that St. Sabina, in a small way, resem­bles a medieval monastery, it’s the hub of the econ­omy there. Next to the church is a large senior assisted liv­ing home, a job train­ing facil­ity, and a social ser­vices center.

The blonde pas­tor lays the golden eggs and Cupich is a social activist too.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Blogger on the site of his mother’s childhood home in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood

By John Ruberry

“You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24.

Once again, Father Michael Pfleger, the meddlesome pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church on Chicago’s South Side, embarrassed the Archdiocese of Chicago. This time is was over inviting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to speak from the altar there shortly after his lifetime ban from Facebook over hatemongering.

Pfleger introduced Farrakhan, after railing about First Amendment rights, which do not apply to companies or corporations. Farrakhan then went on to hatemonger some more, when he spoke of “satanic Jews.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich, Pfleger’s boss, condemned Pfleger’s decision to host Farrakhan. “Without consulting me, Fr. Michael Pfleger invited Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak at St. Sabina Church in response to Facebook’s decision to ban him from its platforms,” the archbishop said in a statement.

The statement continued, “Minister Farrakhan could have taken the opportunity to deliver a unifying message of God’s love for all his children. Instead, he repeatedly smeared the Jewish people, using a combination of thinly veiled discriminatory rhetoric and outright slander.”

That will likely be the end of Cupich’s complaint, despite Pfleger’s history of outrageous behavior, which include:

During a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ in 2008 as its then-pator, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, looked on, Pfleger role-played Hillary Clinton as Barack Obama was the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, “Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!”

Those remarks earned him a suspension from Cupich’s predecessor, Cardinal Francis George. It appeared that his pastorship at St. Sabina, which he held since 1975, was over, as he was being maneuvered by George to become the principal of nearby Leo High School, but Pfleger struck back by saying he would consider leaving the Catholic Church if that happened. So much for being a servant of Christ. George’s retort included, “If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church.” George relented about a month later and reinstated Pfleger.

Suburban gun shops have been a frequent target of Pfleger’s ire. During a protest at one Chuck’s Gun Shop & Range, Pfleger allegedly threatened the life of its owner, John Riggio. “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out. You know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.”

And when attending protests Pfleger is accompanied by armed guards.

George was appointed by the more conservative Pope John II, Cupich was the pick of Pope Francis, a liberal. So it’s a safe bet that Pfleger isn’t leaving. The Chicago archdiocese pioneered six-year terms for pastoral assignments, which are occasionally extended in cases when nears retirement. Pfleger’s 44-year run at St. Sabina is an unprecedented one in the modern American Catholic church.

Also it’s important to note that despite Catholic churches closing throughout the Chicago area, St. Sabina enjoys a healthy membership and its elementary school is well-attended. Its neighborhood, Auburn Gresham, while not as bad as neighboring Englewood, is a high-crime area and economically distressed. But the two block area surrounding the church appears more prosperous than the rest of Auburn Gresham, where coincidentally my late mother grew up. You get the feeling that St. Sabina, in a small way, resembles a medieval monastery, it’s the hub of the economy there. Next to the church is a large senior assisted living home, a job training facility, and a social services center. 

The blonde pastor lays the golden eggs and Cupich is a social activist too.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.