"In its continued effort to get the Archdiocese of Chicago to swiftly conclude its investigation into the allegations against Fr. Pfleger, that it has made the decision to withhold the monthly assessments of the church and school to the Archdiocese starting in March,” read a statement from St. Sabina officials. The statement noted that the assessments amount to around $100,000 per month.
The parish said that they would not use the funds for “ministry, outreach, or any current or future programs,” and would pay the archdiocese in full “at the conclusion of the investigation.”
The Archdiocese of Chicago did not respond to CNA’s request for comment by press time.
Since Pfelger stepped aside from ministry, his parish has been outspoken in their support of their pastor. Parish officials have organized press conferences, sold t-shirts, and encouraged their parishioners to contact the archdiocese in support of Pfleger.
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.
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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."