Parishioners celebrate Fr. Michael Pfleger's return to St. Sabina after sex abuse investigation

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Fr. Pfleger returns to St. Sabina after sex abuse investigation
Parishioners celebrated Fr. Michael Pfleger's return to St. Sabina Church after the Chicago Archdiocese cleared him in a sex abuse investigation.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was a sigh of relief for parishioners at St. Sabina Church as Father Michael Pfleger returned to lead his first mass in nearly two months.

"I jumped up and ran around the house... Screaming and shouting... Praise God, so I know it was no problem. I knew he was coming back," said Amelia Daniels. "A big Christmas gift. Thank you, Lord. Praise God."

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Cardinal Blase Cupich reinstated Pfleger following a second sexual abuse investigation into the longtime pastor.

A man filed a claim with the Archdiocese in October, saying Pfleger sexually abused him on two separate occasions in the 1980s.

his weekend, an independent review board said the claims were unfounded.

"Very elated, very excited," said Michelle Lucas. "I had no doubt."

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Parishioners said it's a blessing to have Pfleger back right before Christmas.

"This was expected in our prayers... We truly believe in this man ... Everything he's done at this church has been for the people," said Michael Lafargue.

Pfleger was welcomed back with cheers of celebration on Sunday as he opened mass with a message for the community.

"It's good to be home," Pfleger said. "Ain't nothing like being in the house... Nothing like being in the presence... Nothing like being in the fellowship of the believers."

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Now, the church is hoping to move forward together behind Pfleger's leadership.

"Everybody loves him in the community," Lucas said. "I'm just so happy he's back... I had no doubt, and now, it's time for us to get back to being disciples of the Lord."

The video in the player above is from a previous report.