Father Michael Pfleger has long advocated for the poor, inner city residents of Chicago to remain helpless and defenseless in the face of criminal predators.  How or why we never knew.  But one thing we do know now is that Pfleger’s been removed by Catholic Church officials.

And now, if an increasing number of allegations are to be believed, Father Pfleger molested young boys who spent the night with him in his bedroom.

CHICAGO (WLS) — The two brothers alleging St. Sabina pastor Father Michael Pfleger sexually abused them more than 40 years ago are speaking out for the first time. The longtime Chicago pastor denies abusing anyone.

The men did not want their names used nor their faces shown fully, but they want their stories told.

“It destroyed my life,” said the younger brother.

Both men are in their 60s. They both allege Fr. Pfleger sexually abused them they were minors. They claim the alleged abuse started at Precious Blood parish on Chicago’s West Side.

“As a kid I was puzzled, I was confused, I was, you know, you confuse love with caring and, and this is an adult that cares about me,” said the older brother.

The Chicago Tribune had a very long investigative report (hidden behind paywall).

…He said Pfleger taught him how to drive in the priest’s Chevrolet Vega, which he said had a cream-colored interior. He said Pfleger got him into the Quigley North high school seminary, where he graduated in the mid-1970s. He attended Niles College for two years while he contemplated entering the priesthood, he said, before enlisting in the military instead.

“Having someone who encouraged you, who you felt looked out for you and provided for you — those were parental attributes and I felt comfortable,” he said. “I know it was a false premise now, but I didn’t know that then.”

He continued: “As an adult, I can see the difference, but as a child I could not. Bad love is just as good as good love when you need love.”

He left Illinois for the Air Force in 1979 and said he did not keep in touch with Pfleger, though he recalled coming back to attend the 2008 funeral of the priest’s father, whom he admired.

When asked to describe Pfleger’s room at Precious Blood, he said it was modestly decorated with a single twin bed, a small fridge, a seating area and a bathroom that connected to the bedroom of another church official.

The bedrooms of the Revs. Francis “Jerry” Maloney and his brother, Edward J. Maloney, were on the other end of a long corridor in the rectory. Both priests are now deceased. Edward J. Maloney was removed from ministry in 2009 for substantiated misconduct claims involving two boys at his next parish assignment in the mid-1980s, archdiocese records show.

At Precious Blood, the two Texas brothers said, no one ever questioned them about their sleepovers in Pfleger’s room. The older brother said that he often walked the church’s Doberman, named Barron, and that he felt comfortable enough to help himself to a soda or snack in the church’s kitchen, where the housekeeper sometimes served him breakfast.

The men said Pfleger took them out for pizza, shopping, the movies or traveling with the choir for performances at other churches. They recalled a fun trip with him to Six Flags in St. Louis and said Pfleger often gave them pocket money.

In the first complaint, the younger brother said he was 13 in the early 1970s when Pfleger began sexually abusing him. He said the first incident occurred when the seminarian gave him a ride home, first touching his leg and then unzipping his pants and performing an act of masturbation, according to his complaint.

The younger brother alleged dozens of incidents of sexual abuse occurred in Pfleger’s bedroom at the priest’s three church assignments, though he said it did not involve penetration…

Why would any priest have pubescent boys spend the night in their bedroom?  What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Either way, according to media sources, Pfleger’s suspension became a permanent termination from his position as the head priest at St. Sabina’s Church.  Or maybe not after some rallies to keep him around.

Chicago Tribune image

Either way, the not-so-Christian-like Father Pfleger’s favorite cause was promoting gun control.  From Front Page Mag:

You can think of Father Michael Pfleger as the white Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Not only does Father Michael Pfleger have a longstanding association with Wright and his Church, he has longstanding ties to Louis Farrakhan, so much so that Farrakhan has even spoken at Father Michael Pfleger’s St. Sabina church.

Pfleger’s big cause though is gun control. And he’s really passionate about it.

During an address at an anti-gun rally in front of Chuck’s, Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, exhorted the crowd to “drag” shop owner, John Riggio, from his shop “like a rat” and “snuff” him. Rev. Pfleger went on to tell the crowd that legislators that vote against gun control legislation should be “snuffed” as well. As many know, “snuff” is slang for especially violent murder.

“We’re gonna snuff out legislators who are voting [garbled] against our gun laws and we’re coming for you because we are not going to sit idly.”

So we started calling him “Snuffy.”

Maybe we should have called him “diddler”?

Despite decades of rumors of child sex abuse, the good (former) St. Sabina’s priest has not been convicted in a court of law.

But his days as serving as a shill to keep inner-city people of color disarmed and helpless against criminal predators is likely over. 

Then again, for all these years maybe there was more than altruistic reasons for him serving that particularly community.  Maybe he himself was a wolf among sheep.