CHICAGO — Father Michael Pfleger has been reinstated to his position as senior pastor at Saint Sabina Catholic Church, according to a letter released by Cardinal Blase Cupich and the Archdiocese of Chicago Saturday.
Fr. Pfleger was asked to step away from the parish back in October as the archdiocese’s Independent Review Board investigated a second round of decades-old claims of child sex abuse levied against Pfleger in the last two years.
In the letter, Cupich said, “The Review Board has concluded that there is no reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations. Having given careful consideration to their decision, which I fully accept, I now inform you that I am reinstating Father Pfleger to his position of senior pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina, effective immediately.”
A year prior to this round of allegations, Fr. Pfleger was reinstated after three men — including a pair of brothers who were juveniles at the time — alleged Pfleger sexually abused them.
“My client is extremely disappointed in today’s findings,” said attorney Eugene Hollander in a statement. “We had overwhelming evidence concerning these sexual abuse allegations. Today’s finding, unfortunately, will discourage other victims of sexual abuse from coming forward.”
Hollander pointed toward the IRB not disclosing a basis for their findings and reiterated his client’s claim that Fr. Pfleger sexually assaulted him on two separate occasions at the rectory of the church.
“The man decided to come forward after he saw media reports in 2021 about two brothers who claimed that Father Pfleger sexually abused them some 40 years earlier,” Hollander said. “The brothers both voluntarily submitted to polygraph examinations and passed. The brothers also presented evidence from a third victim who claimed that the priest sexually assaulted him shortly after he turned the age of 18. All of my clients presented credible and detailed evidence concerning the abuse.”
Fr. Pfleger will return to the pulpit at St. Sabina’s tomorrow morning for their 10 a.m. service.