As of Tuesday, Father Michael Pfleger was placed on a two week leave of absence from St. Sabina's parish by Archbishop Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. Apparently Father Pfleger didn't want to go, but the Archbishop insisted saying: "Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time," George said in the statement. "While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church's regulations for all Catholic priests."* Well done Archbishop George, well done! Let's hope Father Pfleger does just as the Archbishop suggests and straightens out. We don't need priests mocking people and preaching politics from anyone's pulpit, even if done outside Catholic parishes. Father Plfeger's clowing antics for applause at the expense of Senator Hillary Clinton was not what the Catholic priesthood is about. His display of disrespect and deliberate humiliation and degradation of Senator Clinton was more than just poor judgement in my opinion. It shows a deeper problem he needs to work out and I truly hope his time off (though I must admit I wish it were longer than just two weeks) helps. His mocking Senator Clinton's tears was appalling and embarrassing. In my opinion we don't need priests like that guiding and teaching people or leading our parishes. He was a bad reflection of what a Catholic priest should be. May his absence give him a change of heart and renew him to get back to doing what the Church teaches; helping and supporting people, not mocking and tearing them down.
*This is a follow up story to: Connecticut Catholic Corner: Fr. Pfleger Shames the Catholic Church
*Archbishop quotes from CNN.COM