WBEZ | Michael Pfleger http://www.wbez.org/tags/michael-pfleger Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Advocates want more accountability from Independent Police Review Authority http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-want-more-accountability-independent-police-review-authority-108644 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/isadora_ruyter_harcourt_flickr_police.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.iprachicago.org/">The Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA)</a> is suppose to provide oversight of the police, but a group of advocates say IPRA itself needs oversight.</p><p>The Leaders Network, a group of prominent clergy, say IPRA doesn&rsquo;t hold the police accountable, citing a Chicago Reporter study that found IPRA only sustained <a href="http://www.chicagoreporter.com/news/2012/05/abusing-badge">1% of complaints</a>.</p><p>Ashunda Harris says her family&#39;s case is an example of what can go wrong. Her nephew, Aaron Harrison was killed in 2007 by Chicago police. IPRA found the shooting was justified, but last month a jury disagreed and <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=9209133">awarded the family $8.5 million.</a></p><p>The director&rsquo;s position at IPRA is currently vacant and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2013/august_2013/mayor_emanuel_namescommitteetoselectnewiprachief.html">assembled a committee </a>to appoint the next director. The committee includes the activist pastor <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pfleger">Michael Pfleger </a>and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillard_Heintze">Terry G. Hillard</a>, former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The advocates say the want the mayor to promise that the person he appoints will have backing from community leaders. Advocates also want &nbsp;an independent civilian group to hold that director accountable by reviewing and critiquing IPRA&rsquo;s annual report.</p><p>The Leadership Network&rsquo;s Marshall Hatch says having good police oversight is an important part of fighting crime, &ldquo;As a person who pastors in West Garfield Park and lives in Austin, we want people to believe in the police. We want the police and people to work together to solve crime. But you can&rsquo;t do that until people have confidence in the police department.&rdquo;</p><p>The Mayor&rsquo;s office was unable to provide comment in time for this story.</p><p>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter for WBEZ follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></p></p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 09:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-want-more-accountability-independent-police-review-authority-108644 Father Pfleger reinstated to St Sabina for now http://www.wbez.org/story/father-pfleger-reinstated-st-sabina-86846 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-21/Father Pfleger at pulpit_Getty_Erik Lesser.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated 5/23/11 at 9:13pm</em></p><p>Outspoken Catholic priest, Rev. Michael Pfleger, returned to the pulpit of St. Sabina Church on Sunday where he celebrated mass for the first time since his suspension. &nbsp;</p><p>Pfleger, who also celebrated his 62nd birthday on Sunday, received a standing ovation, but also apologized for his role in a high-profile standoff with the Archdiocese of Chicago during the past three weeks that left him banned from pastoral ministry and threatening to leave the Catholic church entirely.</p><p>Pfleger, the longtime pastor of the parish, was suspended last month after remarking during a National Public Radio interview that he would leave the church rather than be removed from St. Sabina Church, which he has headed for more than 30 years.</p><p>Previously, the Archdiocese had asked Pfleger to consider leaving the parish to take over leadership of a nearby Catholic high school.</p><p>In suspending Pfleger, Cardinal Francis George said if that was the priest’s attitude, he had already left the Catholic Church and therefore was "not able to pastor a Catholic parish."</p><p>Pfleger apologized for the remark Friday in a statement. He said he didn’t intend it as a threat to leave the priesthood, and he was committed to working with George to spread the Gospel.</p><p>The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday that it had reinstated Pfleger to full sacramental and pastoral ministry. Pfleger also said he will prepare a transition plan that he will present to George and the Priests’ Placement Board by Dec. 1.</p><p>"For the people of St. Sabina and the Church as a whole, I will do all in my power to foster healing for all," he said. "We trust in the healing power of God."</p><p>In reinstating Pfleger, George said the remarks made to National Public Radio seemed to place the priest outside the Catholic Church and constitute a threat to leave the priesthood. George said in a statement that he and Pfleger discussed how the church has been wounded and the need to find a way to heal the hurt and confusion.</p><p>"Father Pfleger’s statement, which he discussed with me, is a genuine step toward healing the hurt and clarifying the confusion," George said.</p><p>Pfleger has gained national attention for his protests of everything from gun violence to Jerry Springer’s television show. A white priest who runs a largely black parish, he has made racial equality a large part of his mission and appeared with major civil rights leaders.</p><p>He often wears African-style robes during services, and a mural of a black Jesus is behind the altar. Both of his adopted sons are black.</p><p>Pfleger has long appeared to have a strained relationship with the Chicago Archdiocese, which opposed his decision to adopt children. However, in his letter announcing the suspension, George said he has consistently supported Pfleger’s work for social justice and admired his passion for ministry.</p><p>Pfleger’s public comments have gotten him in trouble before. In 2008, he was suspended for nearly two weeks after mocking then-Sen. Hillary Clinton during her presidential run. Pfleger, who was preaching from the pulpit of President Barack Obama’s former Chicago church, pretended he was Clinton crying over "a black man stealing my show." He later apologized.</p><p>The latest disagreement stemmed from reports the archdiocese has wanted to put Pfleger in charge of a Catholic high school.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 May 2011 21:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/father-pfleger-reinstated-st-sabina-86846 A former priest reacts to Father Pfleger's suspension http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-28/former-priest-reacts-father-pflegers-suspension-85787 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/Pfleger Getty Scott Olson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Father Michael Pfleger has led the congregation of <a href="http://www.saintsabina.org/" target="_blank">St. Sabina Church</a> on Chicago’s South Side for more than three decades.&nbsp; Pfleger has been praised for his preaching skills and criticized for his controversial statements like his take on Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.</p><p>On Wednesday, <a href="http://www.archchicago.org/cardinal/" target="_blank">Cardinal Francis George</a> suspended Pfleger’s post at St. Sabina's along with his sacramental faculties. The head of the Archdiocese of Chicago made this move after Pfleger reportedly threatened to quit the Catholic Church.</p><p>To talk about some of the repercussions of the recent events, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to author and former Catholic priest <a href="http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/alumni/hallofachievement.aspx?id=117387" target="_blank">Robert McClory</a>. He wrote a biography about the embattled pastor called <a href="http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/catalog/showBook.cfm?ISBN=1569765286" target="_blank"><em>Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justice. </em></a></p><p><em>Music Button: The Echocentrics, "Engines of Solitude", from the CD Sunshadows, (Ubiquity)</em></p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 14:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-28/former-priest-reacts-father-pflegers-suspension-85787