Smith conducts first Mass after Pfleger's suspension

May 2, 2011 4:48:38 AM PDT
Rev. Andrew Smith conducted Mass Saturday night at St. Sabina, his first since Fr. Michael Pfleger was suspended.

Smith said parishioners were wonderful and welcoming. He's temporarily stepping in for Pfleger.

Cardinal Francis George suspended the popular priest, accusing him of being disobedient and disloyal to the Catholic Church. Recently, the cardinal had urged Pfleger to leave his church and take a new assignment -- leading Chicago's Leo High School.

Cardinal George is in Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, and ABC7's Alan Krashesky asked him while there how much time he would give Pfleger.

"I asked him to reflect a bit so some time is necessary but it's up to him basically. We'll be in conversation at some time I hope," Cardinal George said.

"We are going to be unified; we are going to get past this. Father Mike, Cardinal George we're going to work it out, we're church," said Rev. Andrew Smith

Smith said Saturday night he expects to be at St. Sabina two to three weeks, and emphasized that Pfleger is still the pastor.


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