CHICAGO (WLS) — A new person accuses Father Michael Pfleger of Saint Sabina of sexual abuse.
Chicago attorney Eugene Hollander said his client, a man in his 40s, filed a complaint with the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Pr. Pfleger became a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1975. And in 1981 he became the pastor of St. Sabina.
In a statement released Saturday, Cardinal Blasé Cupich said Fr. Pfleger was asked to step down from the ministry while an investigation is underway, and Pfleger agreed.
The man claims the abuse happened while he was a member of the Soul Children of Chicago choir in the 1980s.
In the complaint, the man said he was sexually abused by Pfleger twice in the parish rectory.
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Hollander said the man is not speaking publicly about the investigation at this time.
He is the third man to file a lawsuit with the Archdiocese of Chicago accusing Father Pfleger of sexual abuse.
In January 2021, two brothers filed a lawsuit accusing Pfleger of sexual abuse. Months later, another man submitted an affidavit alleging Pfleger touched him sexually and gave him drugs and alcohol in the 1970s, but never formally filed a complaint, officials say. . At the time, all three men were also represented by Hollander.
Pfleger returned to Sainte-Sabine in June 2021 after a five-month investigation by the archdiocese and DCFS based on allegations by two brothers. These allegations were found to be unsubstantiated.
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“Let me clarify – I am completely innocent of this accusation,” Pfleger said in a statement released Saturday. “While I am confident that the new allegation will also be found unsubstantiated, this process is so unfair and painful to me and the community I serve.”
Cardinal Blase Cupich sent a letter to members of Saint Sabina informing them of the allegations against Pfleger.
Cardinal Cupich also said the person behind the allegation was offered the services of the Archdiocese’s Ministry of Victims Support.
Religious services continued on Saturday evening, as concerns weigh heavily on the community of Sainte-Sabine.
“We went down this road last year, and now we’re doing it again,” said Pam Bosley, a dad supporter. Pfleger
Saint Sabina’s pastor, Father Thulani Magwaza, will serve as trustee when he returns from his visit with his family in early November, Cupich wrote. Until then, Father David Jones will serve as temporary administrator.
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“The well-being of children in our care remains our priority. The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, cleric or lay employee to come forward,” Cupich wrote. .
Andrew M. Stroth represents The Soul Children of Chicago and their longtime director, Dr. Walter Whitman.
“On behalf of Dr. Whitman and the Soul Children, we denounce these recent allegations. When the Soul Children rehearse at St. Sabina or other locations, we always have chaperones. We always have parents present,” said Stroth.
Full statement from Father Pfleger:
Full letter from the Archdiocese of Chicago to St. Sabina Parish
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