CHICAGO (WLS) — Sunday mass continued at the Sainte-Sabine church without Father Michael Pfleger.
Parishioners were emotional as they returned for Sunday service, with many showing their support for Pfleger as he faces another sexual abuse allegation.
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“It will be a loss. It’s a scrambling feeling… we’re trying to regroup and see now how can we help him and we know we’re going to support him a thousand percent,” Joyce Wasner said.
A man now in his 40s said Pfleger sexually assaulted him when he was underage inside this church in the late 1980s.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is reviewing the charge, and Pfleger has agreed to step down from the ministry while the investigation is ongoing.
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Parishioners said they understood the seriousness of the accusation, but still strongly supported Pfleger.
“It’s not the truth. I don’t understand how they’re going to come back with the same thing when they went through his file the first time. They combed through it,” Monique Stuckey said.
Many St. Sabina parishioners said the Sunday service just wasn’t the same without Pfleger. They said the hardest part of this investigation is losing him for a while, especially since they’ve been through this before.
“We like to see him when we come to church and he opens the doors. I mean, he’s just a good person. He’s just a great man of God, and they get into a vendetta because that it helps the African American community,” Stucky said.
RELATED: Saint Sabine’s Father Michael Pfleger Accused by Third Man of Sexual Abuse
The accuser is the third man to file a sexual abuse complaint against Pfleger with the Archdiocese of Chicago. He faced similar allegations in 2021.
Pastor Tom Walsh led the Sunday service, while delivering a message to parishioners on behalf of Pfleger.
Full statement from Father Pfleger:
Full letter from the Archdiocese of Chicago to St. Sabina Parish
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