Statement of Francis Cardinal George, OMI
May 20, 2011
After the remarks Father Pfleger made on National Public Radio, which seemed to place himself outside the Church and constitute a threat to leave the Catholic priesthood, I asked Father Pfleger to take time to pray about his personal faith and his commitment to the Catholic priesthood. In the past month, Father Pfleger and I have discussed how the Church has been wounded and how necessary it is to find a way to heal the hurt and confusion.Father Pfleger’s statement, which he discussed with me, is a genuine step toward healing the hurt and clarifying the confusion.Many people have been personally affected by these events, including the people of St. Sabina Parish, and I hope that our statements now will bring the peace necessary to strengthen the mission of the Church. I am personally pleased to restore Father Pfleger to his sacramental and pastoral ministry at St. Sabina and in the Archdiocese of Chicago. With him, I ask the Lord to bless him and the people he loves.As Archbishop of this local Church, the Archdiocese of Chicago, I share with the auxiliary bishops and priests a particular responsibility for our unity in Christ. We rely upon Christ to heal us now and to guide us in the future. I look forward to visiting St. Sabina Parish in the near future.
STATEMENT OF FATHER MICHAEL PFLEGER
May 20, 2011
If my remarks in a radio interview seemed to be a threat to leave the priesthood, I am sorry. That was not my intention. I am committed to the priesthood and the Catholic Church. I believe all who know me know well that I want to be a Catholic priest. I have spent the last 36 years of my life trying my best to preach the Gospel, be a voice for justice and the poor, and build up the Church.In our conversations, Cardinal George and I recognized that the Church has been hurt, and this concerns us both. For the people of St. Sabina and the Church as a whole, I will do all in my power to foster healing for all. We trust in the healing power of God.Cardinal George has asked, and I agree, that we move toward creating a plan of transition for the future of St. Sabina. In conversation with the people of St. Sabina and our Episcopal Vicar, Bishop Joseph Perry, I will prepare a transition plan for St. Sabina to present to the Cardinal and the Priests’ Placement Board by December 1, 2011.Cardinal George and I are committed to work together to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his Body, the Church.