Watching Fox News…. Fr. Michael Pfleger, pastor at St. Sabina Catholic Church on Chicago’s south side was just asked to “step away” for a couple of weeks by Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago after his controversial sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ (Obama’s, now former, church).

A statement from the Archdiocese’s website:

To put recent events in some perspective, I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.

I hope also that the life of St. Sabina’s parish may continue in uninterrupted fashion. Fr. William Vanecko, Pastor of St. Kilian’s parish, will be temporary administrator of St. Sabina’s and will assure the full complement of ministerial services during this period. I ask the members of St. Sabina’s parish to cooperate with him and to keep him and Fr. Pfleger in their prayers. They are in mine.

From my experience… you don’t appoint an interim pastor unless he is going to be gone longer than two weeks.  Another thought is, how arrogant he is to say to the Archbishop (his boss), “I don’t think this is the right step.”  That will likely be what eventually will get this guy removed permanently.

21 comments
  1. Saying that Fr. Vanecko will be the “temporary administrator” means that he’ll be doing all the other priestly duties, not just preaching– organize when Absolution will be available, that kind of thing; he’ll probably have to call on other priests–maybe even invite someone out of retirement.

    In every parish I’ve been in, this is standard if the priest is going to be gone for even one Sunday–I’ve never been a regular at a parish with daily Mass, so it may apply even if the head guy must miss *one* Mass.

    That said…I hope they reassign this guy; he’s been…troublesome for quite a while.

    As for removing him entirely from the Priesthood– it would take a LOT more than acting like an utter idiot. Defrocking don’t come easy.
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0602fea1.asp
    covers the kind of steps it would take–and the final part of it is why this guy hasn’t been delt with more harshly before.

  2. Saying that Fr. Vanecko will be the “temporary administrator” means that he’ll be doing all the other priestly duties, not just preaching– organize when Absolution will be available, that kind of thing; he’ll probably have to call on other priests–maybe even invite someone out of retirement.

    In every parish I’ve been in, this is standard if the priest is going to be gone for even one Sunday–I’ve never been a regular at a parish with daily Mass, so it may apply even if the head guy must miss *one* Mass.

    That said…I hope they reassign this guy; he’s been…troublesome for quite a while.

    As for removing him entirely from the Priesthood– it would take a LOT more than acting like an utter idiot. Defrocking don’t come easy.
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0602fea1.asp
    covers the kind of steps it would take–and the final part of it is why this guy hasn’t been delt with more harshly before.

  3. Saying that Fr. Vanecko will be the “temporary administrator” means that he’ll be doing all the other priestly duties, not just preaching– organize when Absolution will be available, that kind of thing; he’ll probably have to call on other priests–maybe even invite someone out of retirement.

    In every parish I’ve been in, this is standard if the priest is going to be gone for even one Sunday–I’ve never been a regular at a parish with daily Mass, so it may apply even if the head guy must miss *one* Mass.

    That said…I hope they reassign this guy; he’s been…troublesome for quite a while.

    As for removing him entirely from the Priesthood– it would take a LOT more than acting like an utter idiot. Defrocking don’t come easy.
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0602fea1.asp
    covers the kind of steps it would take–and the final part of it is why this guy hasn’t been delt with more harshly before.

  4. Thanks for the insight. I was basing from my experience in Evangelical churches since I don’t have a Catholic background.

    Sktr – I know much more needs to be done, but I believe that most Dioceses are addressing that problem. The suspension is rather light – only two weeks and really less severe than re-assigning child molesting priests.

    I am with you though. If a priest molests a child he needs to be defrocked and handed over to the authorities.

  5. Thanks for the insight. I was basing from my experience in Evangelical churches since I don’t have a Catholic background.

    Sktr – I know much more needs to be done, but I believe that most Dioceses are addressing that problem. The suspension is rather light – only two weeks and really less severe than re-assigning child molesting priests.

    I am with you though. If a priest molests a child he needs to be defrocked and handed over to the authorities.

  6. Thanks for the insight. I was basing from my experience in Evangelical churches since I don’t have a Catholic background.

    Sktr – I know much more needs to be done, but I believe that most Dioceses are addressing that problem. The suspension is rather light – only two weeks and really less severe than re-assigning child molesting priests.

    I am with you though. If a priest molests a child he needs to be defrocked and handed over to the authorities.

  7. I tend to be of the “kill the perverted bastards” line, but that is my inner paladin speaking– not a good Christian of any flavor.

  8. I tend to be of the “kill the perverted bastards” line, but that is my inner paladin speaking– not a good Christian of any flavor.

  9. I tend to be of the “kill the perverted bastards” line, but that is my inner paladin speaking– not a good Christian of any flavor.

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

Palin in Des Moines

The kids and I attended the Sarah Palin rally held in Des…

SCOTUS Ruling a Big Win for Religious Liberty

The Supreme Court this morning ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby…

Congressional Platitudes and Glittering Generalities About Health Care

Dr. Marilyn Singleton: The Affordable Care Act produced an unrecognizable version of insurance. The ACA and its health care reform progeny must go.

Surgeons Rebuke Obama

The American College of Surgeons released a statement a couple days ago…