Giving an ultimatum in public to a Cardinal Archbishop when you are a priest of the diocese entrusted to that that Cardinal Archbishop, would, I believe, be considered by most priests to be at the level of daft. One might even consider the ultimating priest to be a crackit gaberlunzie.
Cardinals are generally viewed as weak friends but powerful enemies.
This is from the Chicago Tribune with my emphases and comments:
Pfleger says he will begin to preach at other churches if his suspension isn’t ended
Outspoken priest sets this weekend as deadline
The Rev. Michael Pfleger said Tuesday in a meeting with parishioners that if he is not reinstated as pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church by this weekend, he will begin to preach at other churches. [Other Catholic churches? I doubt it. Remember that Fr. Pfleger had his faculties removed, which I assume includes his faculty to preach. A pastor of a Catholic parish who let him preach under these circumstances would not incur the favor of the local ordinary.] In his first in-depth public remarks about his suspension by Cardinal Francis George, Pfleger told a group of about 150 people that he has received numerous offers to preach from churches throughout the city and the country and needs to get back to preaching.
He did not specify at what churches he might speak or their denominations. [And if he goes to preach at a non-Catholic church, he will be demonstrating that what Card. George concluded was correct: Fr. Pfleger had already left the Catholic Church if he could talk the way he had been talking.]
Still, Pfleger insisted that the only way he will leave St. Sabina is if he is thrown out or if he believes God wants him to go.
“This has been very painful,” Pfleger said, choking back tears. [I sincerely believe that it has been.]
George is in the process of planning a meeting with Pfleger but has not set a time yet, said Colleen Dolan, communications director for the Chicago Archdiocese.
On April 27, George sent a letter to Pfleger suspending him from his duties and saying the priest’s recent remarks in the news media that he would leave the Catholic Church if he were removed from St. Sabina had “short-circuited” efforts that have been under way for weeks to reach an agreement on his transition to a new post.
The cardinal named the Rev. Thulani Magwaza, the associate pastor at St. Sabina, as administrator during the suspension and the Rev. Andrew Smith, a priest at St. Ailbe’s Parish, as his assistant.
Throughout his tenure, Pfleger’s political activism and outspokenness have often placed him at odds with cardinals, even before George. But the cardinal’s suggestion in March to name Pfleger president of Leo Catholic High School quickly escalated into a standoff that pitted his African-American congregation and other South Side supporters against the archdiocese.
On Tuesday, Pfleger told the parishioners that although he was still their pastor, [Perhaps in an informal sense.] he said it was too painful for him to continue attending services.
Pfleger spent about 90 minutes talking to the group and answering questions about his suspension and the future of the church.
He insisted that George never ordered him to become president of nearby Leo High School. Pfleger also said he did not disobey the cardinal by saying he was not qualified for such an assignment.
Pfleger added that the media received the letter from George suspending him before he did and that he never threatened to leave the Catholic Church if he were removed.
In fact, Pfleger told radio show hosts Tavis Smiley and Cornel West in April that he would look outside the Catholic Church if offered no other choice but to work at the Catholic high school.
While he has consulted with lawyers who told him that George had no legal right to suspend him, he had no intention of suing the Catholic Church, Pfleger said. [What a guy.]
But Pfleger said one of his lawyers would send a letter to George saying he violated canonical law by suspending him. [Fr. Pfleger can always appeal to the Congregation for Clergy in Rome.]
Dolan said all of the protections of being a sitting pastor are over for Pfleger because his term at St. Sabina has expired.
Dolan said that while she doesn’t know if George and Pfleger have exchanged letters, they have not had a conversation since the suspension.
Tribune reporter Manya A. Brachear contributed.
What a sad situation.