Cardinal Francis George said Friday he deeply regrets the Rev. Michael Pfleger's videotaped "personal attack" on Hillary Clinton -- and has received assurances from the firebrand priest that he won't campaign for or publicly mention any candidate by name.
George, the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, issued a written statement taking the St. Sabina pastor to task for mocking Clinton during a Sunday address at Trinity United Church of Christ -- home church of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
"The Catholic Church does not endorse political candidates," George said. "Consequently, while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning.
"Racial issues are both political and moral and are also highly charged," he said.
"Words can be differently interpreted, but Father Pfleger's remarks about Senator Clinton are both partisan and amount to a personal attack. I regret that deeply.
"To avoid months of turmoil in the church, Fr. Pfleger has promised me that he will not enter into campaigning, will not publicly mention any candidate by name and will abide by the discipline common to all Catholic priests." Cardinal clamps down on Pfleger, Chicago Sun-Times, May 31, 2008
and this isn't the first time Cardinal George has had to do something like this with Pfleger.
Also, one of the ongoing battles that Pfleger has waged with Cardinal George [and previously Cardinal Bernardin] is over his tenure at St. Sabina. He has been there for over 20 years. Archdiocesan rules and procedures only allow a pastor to be in charge of a parish for ten years then he moves to another parish as pastor. Pfleger has continuously flaunted the rules and insisted that only he can run the parish. He has used tactics to remain that are, to say the least, not very Christian. It flies in the face of all the other pastors who obey the Cardinal and the rule.
AND NOW THIS:
From the New York times - Obama Quits His Church
Senator Barack Obama is ending his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation he has belonged to for about two decades and one that had become a lightening rod in his Democratic presidential bid.
Mr. Obama informed his campaign advisers of his decision today, according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the candidate. Mr. Obama is scheduled to explain his decision tonight in South Dakota.