The Faith Community of St. Sabina's Facebook page on Feb. 24 claimed that the state's department of children and family services had already "completed their investigation on Fr. Pfleger with the results unfounded," and that "The archdiocese has not given us an update as to when Fr. Pfleger can return even though the allegations have been deemed baseless."
"With all due respect, our request is simple: Reinstate Fr. Michael Pfleger and clear his name. Period," the post said.
The Archdiocese of Chicago, meanwhile, has said there was a "basic misunderstanding" about the state's investigation--including that the state had not yet sent a letter to the archdiocese on the outcome of its investigation.
"Our understanding is that the [Department of Children and Family Services] is not directly investigating the veracity of the allegations against Fr. Pfleger," the archdiocese said in a Feb. 24 letter.
The Archdiocese said that the state was rather investigating whether there was a "risk of harm" to children. Depending on the contents of the letter the archdiocese said it had yet to receive from state officials, "there may be no conclusion about guilt or innocence in this case."
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Regarding its own investigation, "it is difficult to predict how long it will take to reach a final determination," the archdiocese said, as "much of the process is not within our control."
"We are convinced that the procedures for dealing with these cases, developed and enhanced over the years, work. They should be followed by all organizations that care for and educate young people," said the archdiocese. "It is ironic that we are now accused of taking too long to consider allegations because a priest is prominent and well regarded."
Pfleger, who is white, has been the pastor at the predominantly African-American parish since 1981. During his time as a priest, he has been known for his social and political activism, supporting gun control and advocating on behalf of the Black community. He has also been a supporter of women's ordination.