Chicago Cardinal "blindsided" by Farrakhan invitation

Over the weekend we looked at the “surprise” appearance at St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago by Louis Farrakhan. He generated headlines that were not of the best sort during his Absolutely Not Antisemitic remarks where he spoke of “Satanic Jews.” It was later revealed that the priest who extended the invitation, Father Michael Pfleger, had not consulted any of his superiors before scheduling the performance.

Now the church has had time to look into it and issue a response. Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has condemned Farrakhan’s remarks and said that he was “blindsided” by the event. (CBS Chicago)

Cardinal Blase Cupich says he was blindsided by Minister Louis Farrakhan’s invitation to speak at St. Sabina Church Thursday night. He’s now condemning the Nation of Islam leader’s remarks…

“Without consulting me Father Michael Pfleger invited Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak,” Cupich says in a statement.

He says Farrakhan “repeatedly smeared the Jewish people using thinly veiled discriminatory rhetoric and outright slander. I apologize to my Jewish brothers and sisters.”

This is probably the last thing the Cardinal wants to have to deal with, particularly given all of the sexual assault stories making the rounds. But Father Pfleger is his problem since St. Sabina falls under his Archdiocese and he can’t just ignore the problem.

Thus far there’s no indication that any direct action will be taken against Pfleger. (He’s been suspended from giving the Sacraments before, but that was under a previous Cardinal.) For now, all the Cardinal is doing is “inviting” the Father to visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum and meet with Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors. Hopefully, Father Pfleger will take him up on this offer and go gather some perspective. Perhaps he could also reconsider his previous decision and offer an apology in person.

This sorry episode offers us yet another example of how you can never get involved with Louis Farrakhan without winding up with a mess on your hands. The man is an unrepentant antisemite with a long history of hatred of Jews. (Also of white people, but that’s a story for another day.) If Father Pfleger can’t get that message through his head, perhaps he should take the offer previously put on the table by the Archdiocese and leave his post at St. Sabina and go head up a local Catholic school.