Father Pfleger returns from temporary leave

CHICAGO Father Pfleger invited a few members of the media into his office Monday morning. It was a quick visit as Pfleger returns to the business of running a parish and preparing next Sunday's sermon.

The parish of Saint Sabina had been without its leader for two weeks, missing services, graduations and a wedding. But, Monday morning, Father Michael Pfleger returned to his work and home.

"I'm very grateful to be back doing what I believe I've been called to do. I'm grateful for the cardinal for letting me back, and I'm here, I'm here and I'm ready," said F. Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina Catholic Church.

Father Pfleger was asked by Cardinal George to take a leave of absence after Pfleger was videotaped mocking Hillary Clinton during a sermon about race. Pfleger apologized, but still the cardinal wanted Pfleger to reflect on his actions.

In his more than 30 years at Saint Sabina Father Pfleger has combined his spirituality with his activism. That activism has sometimes caught the scorn of the cardinal.

"You cannot, I don't believe, be Catholic and not be an activist. That's the gospel," Pfleger said.

Father Pleger settled into his office Monday amid his reminders of his heroes, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr., committed to his calling.

"This is who I've been born. It's the family I was raised up in and it's who I've been called to be," said Pfleger.

Father Pfleger has been at Saint Sabina since he was ordained. He says he has received support from people around the world during his leave. He says he'll offer more of his reflections at next Sunday's service.

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