The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago is publicly honoring a priest who had been suspended from his parish for mocking Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger will receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award” Wednesday evening from the archdiocese’s Office for Racial Justice for “service in pursuit of dismantling racism, injustice and inequalities on behalf of African Americans and all people of color,” according to a statement on the archdiocese Web site.
Cardinal Francis George, who temporarily removed Father Pfleger from the mostly-black St. Sabina Catholic Church for politicking from the pulpit, will preside at Wednesday evening’s Martin Luther King Prayer Service.
Father Pfleger, a longtime friend of the President Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, came to national prominence during the Democratic primaries when a video of him preaching at Mr. Wright’s church surfaced.
In the video, Father Pfleger wipes his eyes and tells the cheering congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ that Mrs. Clinton wept because she thought she was entitled to the presidency as a white person.
“And then, out of nowhere, came ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’” Father Pfleger said. “And [Clinton] said, ‘Oh damn, where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!’”
The video prompted Cardinal George to remove him from St. Sabina’s, though Father Pfleger apologized for his remarks and returned a few weeks later.
Father Pfleger also has come under fire for saying America is a sin against God and for saying that a gun-store owner should be “snuff[ed] out.”
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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