Good morning, Chicago.
St. Sabina Church parishioners gathered Sunday morning for a joyful service, pushing back against a newly surfaced sexual abuse claim against their senior pastor, the Rev. Michael Pfleger.
A man in his late 40s filed a claim with the Archdiocese of Chicago Friday alleging the South Side priest sexually abused him at St. Sabina in the late 1980s.
As an investigation is launched into the claim, Pfleger has stepped aside from his church duties and has been asked by Cardinal Blase Cupich to live away from St. Sabina.
But Pfleger’s parishioners appear to remain as faithful as ever to their pastor.
Soft organ music played as churchgoers filed into the pews before Mass started, some wearing black shirts that read “We stand with Father Pfleger” in red, yellow and green letters.
“The service was uplifting. When I heard the news, I didn’t feel like coming because my heart was hurting,” said Catherine Strong, who was wearing one of the T-shirts. “My heart was broken a little bit, but I also know my pastor. And I know his heart.”
The Rev. Tom Walsh led the 10 a.m. Mass, taking a moment during the homily to direct those in attendance to greet Pfleger, who was reportedly watching the service via livestream.
Read more on this story from Adriana Perez here.
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Good morning, Chicago.