The National Rifle Association is often held up as the ultimate boogieman by the media and gun control activists. Part of that is to make them seem like the underdog–Americans love to support an underdog, after all–and part of it is because they want to blame someone for their past failures. They can’t handle the idea that maybe a lot of Americans don’t actually want their rights restricted.
However, there are entities that no sane person can really believe the NRA has much influence with. A prime example would be the Roman Catholic Church.
The thing is, anti-gunners aren’t necessarily rational people. They like to make the NRA to be all-powerful, so when an anti-gun priest was investigated for child abuse, who did he blame?
Cardinal Blase Cupich reinstated the Rev. Michael Pfleger on Monday as senior pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church after an investigation of allegations of sexual abuse of a minor more than 40 years ago “concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations.”
In a letter to the St. Sabina Church and school community, Cupich said the archdiocese’s Independent Review Board, assisted by the Office of Child Abuse Investigation and Review and outside investigators conducted “a thorough review” of the allegations.
The first version of the letter published on the archdiocese’s website said the probe “concluded that there is no reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations” before being updated — without explanation — 90 minutes later.
The letter was changed because officials from the archdiocese wanted “to be precise in repeating the language of the Independent Review Board’s report,” spokesperson Paula Waters told WTTW News.
Pfleger, who turned 72 on Saturday, has led St. Sabina for more than 40 years, becoming one of the most high-profile religious leaders in Chicago. In 2011, former Cardinal Francis George removed him from St. Sabina after he rejected George’s assignment to lead Leo High School.
An outspoken advocate for gun control, Pfleger said George acted under pressure from the National Rifle Association and suggested he would leave the Catholic Church rather than accept the post at Leo High School.
See? The NRA is so powerful that it can influence a cardinal in the Catholic Church.
Honestly, Pfleger needs psychological help. He’s clearly paranoid if he actually believes that.
Yes, Pfleger is an anti-gun voice and a leader in an anti-gun city, sure, but does he really have enough influence for the NRA to even bother with? Not really. The priest’s reach doesn’t extend past Chicago for the most part, though some anti-gun Catholics may have some interest in what he thinks. Still, he wouldn’t be worth the effort.
Pfleger, however, seems to think he’s much more important than he really is. I guess he forgot priests are supposed to be humble. Then again, they’re also not supposed to be hypocrites, either.
As for the allegations against Pfleger, I don’t know enough about them to actually opine on it one way or another. I will say, however, that the church does seem to have a history of covering for priests involved in instances of sexual abuse. They also have a history of not investigating and just shifting priests around, so the truth could go either way.
However, that history probably had more to do with Pfleger being investigated in the first place than anything the NRA actually did or could have done.
Regardless, Pfleger still having his job and still being able to spout off his anti-gun nonsense isn’t really an issue. He’s a Chicago priest. He’ll be preaching to the choir, so to speak.