CHICAGO — “Keep fighting. Keep believing. Keep struggling. Keep getting up.”
That was Father Michael Pfleger’s message to parishioners at Saint Sabina Catholic Church Sunday morning, commemorating the pastor’s return after being reinstated Saturday by the archdiocese of Chicago following a second round of child sex abuse allegations being levied against him in as many years.
“Why do they keep coming?” Fr. Pfleger said of the allegations. “What I said when I preached today, the enemy keeps coming to take you down. Interesting thing is that it’s the same lawyer.”
Attorney Eugene Hollander, who represented all three clients that levied claims of sexual abuse against the senior pastor, said he and his clients had a solid case to make against Fr. Pfleger.
“I think it’s extremely important to consider all of the evidence taken together and not just my current client,” Hollander said. “My two former clients, they presented a third corroborating witness last year. So, I think the amount of evidence we had concerning Father Pfleger’s abuse was extraordinary.”
An independent review board of the archdiocese investigated the claims and in a letter after their investigation was completed, Cardinal Blase Cupich said, “the board concluded there was no reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations.”
Fr. Pfleger was reinstated immediately afterward.
Hollander said he would like an explanation why the archdiocese found his clients’ allegations have no merit.