Rev. Michael Pfleger declares he’s harmless of intercourse abuse claims after state wraps up its probe of Saint Sabina pastor
Rev. Michael Pfleger reiterated his innocence in his first public statement in weeks on Wednesday when the Ministry of Children and Family Services appeared to come to a conclusion about investigating allegations that children are currently at risk.
In two social media posts, Pfleger, who resigned from his duties as pastor of St. Sabina Church last month, as church leaders investigated a decade-old allegation of sexual abuse by two brothers, said he was innocent and called the allegation “false . ”
“When this is over, I hope that I will soon have a lot more to say,” wrote Pfleger, who in another post thanked several organizations and people who have stood up for the long-standing St. Sabina priest. “… I pray that [Chicago] The Archdiocese will allow me to return to the Ministry quickly. ”
Now that the Archdiocese has issued a statement that I can comment on my innocence … let me be clear and repeat what my lawyers said at the beginning. I am innocent of these false alligations. When this is over, which I hope to be soon, I will have a lot more to say
– Ms. Michael Pfleger (@MichaelPfleger) February 24, 2021
Pfleger’s comments come after the DCFS sent letters about the outcome of its investigation from Pfleger.
Although the law does not allow DCFS to investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect by an adult victim, DCFS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said DCFS can determine if there is a current minor victim.
If an investigation is unfounded, DCFS sends a letter to the appointed reporter, in this case the Archdiocese, who will inform you of the results of the investigation and leave time for a reply. After 20 days, DCFS sends a letter to the alleged perpetrator with the results of the investigation.
McCaffrey confirmed that letters were sent to the Archdiocese on February 4 and to Nurses on February 24, but did not comment on the contents of the letters. However, the Archdiocese and Pfleger’s attorney Jim Figliulo both said they never received a letter from DCFS.
“We were told [Tuesday]A DCFS official in Springfield found that a letter of determination was not in their system, indicating that it was not created or even mailed, “the archdiocese said in a statement. “DCFS confirmed that it would not provide an electronic copy of the letter and that we would have to wait for it to arrive via the US Postal Service.”
Figliulo said again that the brothers’ allegations were “not true”.
Meanwhile, victims’ attorney Eugene Hollander said he “didn’t care much about the results of DCFS” as neither of the department’s brothers provided explanations.
“The DCFS file really didn’t contain much about their baseless allegations,” said Hollander. “Of course I didn’t see your file, but it must be a pretty bare file because they didn’t have any information directly from my clients.”
The Archdiocese said DCFS is not directly investigating the veracity of allegations against Caregivers.
“We have been told that in light of the allegations, DCFS is investigating whether there is a” risk of harm “to children,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “Depending on the content of the letter we ultimately receive from DCFS, there may not be a conclusion about guilt or innocence in this case.”
Figliulo said the archdiocese’s lengthy testimony was “difficult to obey”.
“The Archdiocese said it was waiting for the DCFS investigation to complete. If they say now that it means nothing, that is a puzzling one, ”said Figliulo.
The Archdiocese and the Chicago Police Department are conducting their own independent investigations into the allegations, which are still ongoing.
Nurse was not accused of any crime.
The previous Wednesday, a group of about 100 people gathered outside the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Chicago and demanded the reinstatement of nurses.
State Senator Jacqueline Collins, a member of St. Sabina, urged the Archdiocese to make a decision quickly and to share it publicly.
“It is time for the Archdiocese to hasten the process and seek a renewal, rebirth and restoration for Fr. Carer’s good name, dignity and decency, ”said Collins. “Time is of the essence because in the court of public opinion, time becomes the jury.”
In response to allegations made at the protest, the archdiocese denied it invented a trick to remove orderlies, saying that any allegations of misconduct by clergymen would be taken seriously and subjected to the same process.
“The church has been rightly accused at times of neglecting allegations, conducting cursory investigations and prematurely reinstating misbehaving priests,” the statement said. “We are convinced that the methods that have been developed and improved over the years to treat these cases will work. They should be followed by all organizations that mentor and train young people. It is ironic that we are now being accused of taking too long to investigate allegations because a priest is prominent and respected.
“Thirty years at the forefront of dealing with minor abuse that unfortunately continues in today’s society have taught us that these issues take the time it takes to reach a just outcome. To this end, we intend to continue working on all cases before us and always give priority to the protection and healing of the victims. “