Pfleger to Co-Pastor St. Sabina, Help St. Margaret

Francis Cardinal George announced the changes Tuesday

By Mary Ann Ahern
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 11:14 PM CDT
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After a year of locking heads, a new deal in the works between Francis Cardinal George and Father Michael Pfleger seems to give them both a victory.

After a year of locking heads, a new deal in the works between Francis Cardinal George and Father Michael Pfleger seems to give them both a victory.

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May 20, 2011: Fr. Michael Pfleger says he's grateful that Francis Cardinal George reinstated him as pastor of St. Sabina's

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After a year of locking heads, a new deal in the works between Francis Cardinal George and Father Michael Pfleger seems to give them both a victory.

Pfleger will co-pastor at St. Sabina Parish and help where there is an immediate need as temporary administrator at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish until July 1, Cardinal George announced Tuesday.

"I'm very grateful for the conversation and very grateful for the opportunity. It was the best meeting he and I have had since he was here as Cardinal of the Archdiocese," Pfleger said Tuesday night.

A new pastor will be named at St. Margaret on July 1, and Rev. Daniel J. Mallette will remain at St. Margaret of Scotland as pastor emeritus.

Pfleger, a vocal critic who has been viewed in the past as somewhat of a renegade pastor, also will be given Archdiocesan support as a spokesman against gun violence.

"Let the NRA know that when I speak now, I don't just speak for Mike Pfleger. I speak for Cardinal George and the Archdiocese of Chicago," he said.

In April, Cardinal George suspended Pfleger as pastor at St. Sabina after Pfleger publicly said he would rather leave the Catholic Church than take an assignment at a different parish.

But Pfleger confirmed to NBCChicago Tuesday the future plans are good for him.

In response to the move during an unrelated press conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Pfleger's "voice is needed to make the city better." Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she looks forward to working with him on anti-violence initiatives.

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