Pfleger, a militant gun control cleric, is a man whom I described back when Obama first ran for office, as the white Jeremiah Wright.
He’s angry, radical, and Obama was forced to also disavow him.
Friends and advisers, such as the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church in the Auburn- Gresham community on the South Side, who has known Obama for the better part of 20 years, help him keep that compass set, he says.
“I always have felt in him this consciousness that, at the end of the day, with all of us, you’ve got to face God,” Pfleger says of Obama. “Faith is key to his life, no question about it. It is central to who he is, and not just in his work in the political field, but as a man, as a black man, as a husband, as a father…. I don’t think he could easily divorce his faith from who he is.”
Pfleger’s latest problems began when two brothers accused him of molesting them.
The older brother said Pfleger began molesting him about a year after they met, when he was 12, and continued from 1970 to 1976, in dozens of incidents at Precious Blood, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview, St. Sabina and the Mundelein seminary.
The man said he often tried to pretend he was sleeping during the abuse, which included acts of penetration, according to his complaint. The two were always alone in the bedroom during the incidents, he told the Tribune. There were no threats, discussions or apologies afterward, he said.
The Chicago Archdiocese cleared Pfleger, but a police investigation continues. This hasn’t stopped Pfleger and the media from putting on a full-court press celebrating his comeback.
Pfleger, 72, was placed on leave in January amid allegations from two brothers who said Pfleger sexually abused them as children starting in the 1970s. A third man later also alleged that Pfleger molested him once in 1979 when he was 18. Last month, the archdiocese concluded there was “insufficient reason to suspect” that Pfleger had abused children. A police investigation remains open.
His first service back at the largely Black church on Chicago’s South South was as spirited as ever, with live music, dancing and reenergized congregants who have fiercely backed their priest. Pfleger, who is white, thanked congregants for supporting him and vowed to resume his activism, especially against gun violence, with even more gusto.
Didn’t Harvey Weinstein make the same promise?
On Sunday, some wore T-shirts featuring the priest’s photo and the message “Pfleger is back.” Among those in attendance was filmmaker Spike Lee, who is friends with Pfleger and whose 2015 movie “Chi-raq” featured a character inspired by Pfleger and played by John Cusack.
No accountability there.
“I know my name will be damaged for the rest of my life,” Pfleger said as congregants booed. “But most of that is by people that hated me anyway. There are people watching today that are not happy that I’m back. But take off your party hat and blow out the candles. I’m back.”
Any word about the victims from the man dubbed Obama’s moral compass? Like teacher, like student.
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