In a move that surprises everyone here in Chicago, Francis Cardinal George has requested Father Michael Pfleger, senior pastor of St Sabina's Parish to step away from his duties for at least a few weeks, effective immediately.
Of course, everyone has seen the incendiary "sermon"--if you want to call it that--Pfleger delivered at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (www.tucc.org) several days ago. For those who have been visiting another country (or another planet), Trinity UCC was the "church home" of Presidential contender Barack Obama and his family--until three days ago, when the Obamas resigned their membership in the congregation.
What saddens me the most is the "beating" the name of Christ (and those who choose to follow Him) has taken in the media. For example, from today's Chicago Tribune, Editorial/Commentary section:
"This is the reason I don't go to church anymore. Churches have a political theme to them that sometimes isn't very Christian. I would rather pray at home." Robert A Brown Jr.
"As a confirmed atheist, I find all of this stuff stirred up by a belief in 'an invisible friend' who lives in the sky somewhat troubling to begin with. But I really find fault with Obama for caving in to it...." Tom Stewart
These are just two of the many rightly-incensed people who responded in the media over something that should have never occurred in the first place.
While Fr Pfleger has the reputation for being fiery and outspoken, he has had the reputation and character to stand up for many of the social and inherent evils as well...including racism and sexism.
Then "this" horrible diatribe about "entitled" people....what was HE thinking?
I'm not sure he was thinking, in my humble opinion. I've met the good priest, and have had more than one conversation with him. I believe that he truly loves the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he has kingdom interests at heart. He is the kind of "priest" I would want to shepherd me if I were a Catholic.
But THIS? Why?
Cardinal George has caved into the pressure of Catholics from all over this area...and removing Pfleger may be a good thing--but there is more fallout to come.