“The person making the allegation has been offered the services of our Victim Support Ministry and the Archdiocese has begun their investigation and we will do our best to keep you informed,” Cupich wrote.
Saint Sabina’s pastor, Father Thulani Magwaza, will serve as parish administrator in Pfleger’s place, Cupich wrote, and noted that until Magwaza returns from a visit to his family in early November, Father David Jones will serve as temporary administrator.
This is the second sexual abuse allegation against Pfleger in the past two years; after three men made allegations in early 2021, Pfleger was reinstated in June after an Archdiocese of Chicago investigation concluded there was “insufficient reason” to suspect he was guilty of the allegations, which he denied.
In his own statement on October 15, Pfleger complained that “the process in the archdiocese today is that a priest is presumed guilty until proven guilty.” He said his status as a “high profile”, “outspoken” and “controversial” person has spawned “jealousy, attacks and hatred”.
“Let me be clear – I am completely innocent of this accusation,” he wrote. “I seem to have spent most of my ministry fighting to remain a priest and continue the work of justice, and to serve the good people of Sainte-Sabine and our community. I cannot express how difficult, disruptive and painful this process is for me and those close to me.
A Chicago native, Pfleger has spoken out against the epidemic of gun violence in the city’s South End that has afflicted his parishioners at St. Sabina’s, a predominantly African-American parish community. Pfleger adopted an 8-year-old boy in 1981 and another son in 1992. In 1997, he became the adoptive father of another town youth who was killed in a gang shootout in 1998.