Pastor Michael Pfleger resigns from his ministry as another sexual abuse allegation is under investigation

The Archdiocese of Chicago has confirmed that he is stepping away from his popular pastor for the second time in less than two years as he faces an investigation into decades of sexual abuse allegations.

In the latest allegation, a man in his late 40s filed a complaint with the archdiocese claiming he was sexually abused by a long-serving activist South Side priest at St. Sabina’s Church in the late 1980s. .

The man’s attorney, Eugene Hollander, said his client was a member of the acclaimed Soul Children of Chicago choir when the incident occurred on two separate occasions at the church’s parsonage. The choir was rehearsing at St. Sabina once or twice a week, lawyers said.

The boy was a minor between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time. Hollander declined to provide details on Saturday as the archdiocese’s investigation is ongoing.

Pfleger, 73, stepped away from his daily church duties. Cardinal Blaise Kupich is also demanding that he live away from the Diocese of Auburn-Gresham while the Archdiocese’s Independent Review Board investigates the civil matter. is in line with the policy of

“He has agreed to cooperate fully with this request,” Kupich said of Pflegger in an Oct. 15 letter to St. Sabina parishioners posted on the church’s website on Saturday. . “As required by our child protection policy, this allegation has been reported to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services and law enforcement officers. The Archdiocese has launched an investigation and we will do our best to keep you informed.

Pfleger has not been criminally charged. Neither he nor his attorney immediately responded to the Tribune for comment on Saturday, but Pfleger issued a statement Posted on St. Sabina’s website. He claimed innocence.

“Let me be clear, I am completely innocent of this accusation,” he wrote.

He was subsequently removed from his ministry for several months in early 2021 two adult brothers It alleges that Pfleger has been abused for decades. the priest is back That summer, to St. Sabina after a jury found “insufficient reason to suspect” that a passionate anti-violence advocate was guilty of the allegations.

In a 2021 petition to the Archdiocese of Texas, two brothers in their 60s have been sexually assaulted for several years beginning in the 1970s, when Pfleger was a seminary at the Precious Blood Catholic Church on Chicago’s West Side. claimed to have been abused. He was a member of the choir. The abuse continued, the brothers said. Pflegger was a deacon of Our Lady of Glenview and Our Lady of Constant Assistance to St. Sabina.

the third man He came forward a few months after two brothers claimed Pfleger made unwanted sexual advances against him when he was 18 in 1979. However, he filed an affidavit in support of his two brothers with church officials.

Pfleger had pleaded not guilty at the time, and his defense team said the allegations were false and made up in hopes of receiving financial statements.

In a May 2021 letter, Qupich informed St. Sabina parishioners that the longtime priest will return as senior pastor following the review committee’s decision. At the time, Kupich wrote:

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Pflegger celebrated his return home There was a standing ovation, shouts of support and worship at the Sunday morning service on June 6, 2021. He thanked his loyal followers repeatedly during the service, which lasted about three hours. His parishioners had rallied behind him, including when St. Sabina announced in late February 2021. deducted $100,000 from monthly appraisals to the archdiocese until the investigation is completed.

Inspired by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to become a priest, Pfleger chose to live and work in the predominantly black community of Precious Blood as a young seminarian, attending Mundelein Theological Seminary for classes. I was passing online biography and Tribune archives. He was ordained in his 1975. For decades, the ardent white pastor has led Chicago’s largest black Catholic parish in a campaign against racism and poverty.

Hollander also represented two Texas brothers. He also previously represented the victim of deposed priest Daniel McCormack in a notorious abuse case that led to an overhaul of Chicago church policy.

In a statement on Saturday, Pflegger asked his supporters to pray for him.

“Unfortunately, in today’s archdiocese proceedings, priests are presumed guilty until proven innocent. Priests are always vulnerable targets for everyone.”

He continued, “While I am confident that the new allegations will also be found to be unfounded, this process has been extremely unfair and painful to me and the communities I serve. Pastor Michael Pfleger resigns from his ministry as another sexual abuse allegation is under investigation

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