Thankfully, not everyone in Chicago is a fan of racial demagogue Rev. Michael Pfleger’s “flair”— or of the Catholic Church’s lack of backbone in dealing with the rogue priest. Reader Michael Hall e-mails:
I have known Mike Pfleger for a long time. My brother-in-law was in the seminary with him and Mike baptized my nephew in a backyard baptism years ago. Mike used to come to my wife’s family home for dinner years back.
Mike was always the kid that was picked on when he was young. He was a strange egg then and my bro-in-law took him home on weekends mostly because he felt sorry for Mike during the seminary years.
Since then I have battled Mike several times. I was the president of the athletic committee of one of the schools that voted down allowing St. Sabina into the SouthSide Catholic conference. The REAL reason they were voted down was because they did not want to abide by the rules of the conference. They wanted changes made or they would not agree to play. They suddenly went to the press and through out the race card when they were not voted in.
Shortly after this, I received a call from Cardinal George. He asked that we re-vote and asked that they be allowed to play. He said he will personally oversee the rules issues and he would be sure that it will have a positive result for both sides. So I met with my board and persuaded them to vote with the Cardinal’s oversight and they did, as did the other 19 parishes. Cardinal George was even present for one of our called meetings and again re-iterated that he will make things right. The problem was that George then did a huge disappearing act. He NEVER mediated the rules issue thus caused St. Sabina to withdraw from the conference. (Sounds like a familiar pattern with George.)
Later another battle with Mike Pfleger ensued when a friend of mine, John Riggio, who years ago inherited his father’s LEGAL business of selling guns. Mike Pfleger wanted to and still wants to close him down. John never ever sold an illegal gun in his life, and is VERY cautious on who is allowed in his shop and buys guns. Much of his business is law officers. John always says, ‘I don’t sell or approve the sale of guns.’ The government does, as much processing and background checks are made before a sale can be consummated.
Mike Pfleger stood on private property next to John’s gun shop and shouted, “John Riggio, were going to snuff you out.” You can imagine the shock that John’s supporters heard from inside the store. Here is a man of the cloth, a Catholic Priest, announcing that he is going to kill someone because he runs a legal business! Now we can all assume that Mike did not REALLY say that to REALLY kill John, but how did his flock take this? How do we know that one of his followers took this to mean just what he said? That was John[‘s] real fear, but of [course] the press doesn’t care about John or his family.
I was there at John’s shop when Mike was arrested with Jesse Jackson a couple weeks later. On a side note, Jesse was arrested with $35,000 in his pocket. I saw him try to hand off a wad of cash at the store but the police said he can’t. I later heard it was over 35K. What was he doing with this money? Opening up a gun safety school? Again, everyone in the press is afraid to make mention of this excessive cash issue. Anyway, there was Mike who arrived with about 8 supporters and about 15 press people and cameras. There were over 150 supporters in John’s store, myself included. I saw Mike and his handful of supporters stand right in front of John’s door and signaled his supporters to let the camera man in toward him. When the stage was set, he started yelling. What a joke it was! John asked if Mike and Jackson wanted to come in and he can show them how the store operated, which was much stricter than the big box stores selling guns. They refused, and rather stand and block the entrance.
Once again the cardinal vanished from all of this. The truth is, he is afraid of Mike Pfleger. Mike finally has the stage that for years was undermined by his peers. He has his supporters in the church and many non-supporters outside the church, (both black and white). Mike learned how to coax money out of politicians and big businesses to flourish his parish. For that I commend him. During one visit, I saw huge stacked boxes of Wilson athletic gear at St. Sabina that they told me was all donated. As an athletic director, I was envious, yet glad that they got this.
The reality is that Mike is fake and still looking for attention that he thrived for all his life. Mike was ridiculed as a kid, ridiculed in the seminary and found his stage at St. Sabina. His is preaching just what his flock wants to hear. He is playing to them and they like it. (Just look at them in the videos) Mike may or may not agree with what he is saying, but hits a nerve with his followers. This latest is nothing compared to his weekly broadcast that he has/had on-line during his Sunday services over the years. During my athletic battles with him, I listened in on a few of these “sermons” and got totally disgusted with what he was saying to his parish. It sounded more like a cult and not a Catholic mass! He would preach hate, and distrust. He would condemn the whites and portray the whites as “inherited all the wealth”. Back then I wondered what would happen if I walk in during all this. Would I be sacrificed as the big evil?
Mike is totally delusional. He likes to take the stage and fire up his flock. It is not Catholic. It is not biblical. It is fire and brimstone on all that don’t agree. He must be removed by the cardinal. It’s time that George stops disappearing and start to take charge. If not, then he needs to takes a leave of absence as well!