One of Julius Caesar’s principles of warfare was that you do well to leave your enemy an honorable escape route unless you plan to crush or fight to the death.
In the Chicago Tribune we find this, with my emphases and comments:
Cardinal restores Pfleger to St. Sabina
Ending a standoff between Chicago’s Roman Catholic archbishop and one of Chicago’s most famous Catholic priests, Cardinal Francis George lifted the suspension of the Rev. Michael Pfleger today and said he would visit St. Sabina Catholic Church in the near future.
Both men also released statements pledging to work together and prepare a plan, by the end of the year, for a transition at St. Sabina Catholic Church. [A transition period. This is the honorable escape route.]
“If my remarks in a radio interview seemed to be a threat to leave the priesthood, I am sorry,” Pfleger said in his statement. [He simply had to say that publicly. Good.] “That was not my intention. I am committed to the priesthood and the Catholic Church.”
Pfleger said he would prepare a transition plan for the cardinal by Dec. 1.
“In our conversations, Cardinal George and I recognized that the Church has been hurt, and this concerns us both,” Pfleger said. “For the people of St. Sabina and the Church as a whole, I will do all in my power to foster healing for all. We trust in the healing power of God.”
George said he approved Pfleger’s statement as a “genuine step toward healing the hurt and clarifying the confusion.”
“Many people have been personally affected by these events, including the people of St. Sabina Parish, and I hope that our statements now will bring the peace necessary to strengthen the mission of the Church,” George said.
Pfleger will celebrate mass at St. Sabina on Sunday, which is also his 62nd birthday.
My understanding is that Fr. Pfleger has never, since the day he was ordained, been assigned anywhere other than St. Sabina parish.
All in all, I think we have to say that this is a step in the right direction for Fr. Pfleger and the parish.