Pastor removed amid child sexual abuse claim
CHICAGO — The Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement Saturday letting parishioners of a church on the South Side know their senior pastor had been removed while a child sexual abuse allegation is investigated.
Cardinal Blase Cupich penned the letter — addressed to the Saint Sabina community — letting them know that the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review had received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Father Michael Pfleger.
According to Cupich, the abuse is alleged to have happened over 30 years ago and Fr. Pfleger has been asked to step aside from the ministry and live away from the parish while the allegation is investigated. The allegation was also reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family services.
This is not the first time Pfleger has faced sexual abuse allegations. A year ago, Pfleger was reinstated at St. Sabina Church after allegations were levied against him by a pair of brothers and a third man who said Pfleger sexually abused him when he was 18.
Father David Jones will serve as temporary administrator until Father Thulani Magwaza returns in November, who will then serve as administrator and attend to the St. Sabina Parish and school community in Fr. Pfleger’s absence.
“The welfare of the children entrusted to our care remains our priority,” Cupich said in the statement. “The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee to come forward.”
For more information on reporting sexual abuse in the church, you can visit the Archdiocese of Chicago’s website here.
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