Who owns St. Sabina parish anyway?

Fr. Pfleger’s executive assistant objects to the arrival at the St. Sabina rectory of the new priest.

“Can you just imagine somebody moving into your house that really was not invited by us,” said Kimberly Lymore, the Associate Minister at the Faith Community of St. Sabina.

She’s been misled. It’s not her house, nor the parish council’s. That matter was decided a long time ago, when “trusteeism” was squelched in the American church by Rome.

Trusteeism controversy

ca. 18151840

In its infancy, the Catholic Church in America relied on the initiative and benevolence of laypeople to an extraordinary degree. Lacking priests, many early parishes were established and managed by laity. As the nation grew and the clerical personnel of the Church increased, priests and bishops sought to standardize the Church’s organization in accord with canon law and common practice. The result in some localities was tensionand sometimes hostilitybetween pastors and bishops on one side and lay trustees on the other. Significant battles over control of parishes occurred at St. Mary’s in Philadelphia and in New York, among other places.

Indeed, there is little new under the sun when it comes to the Roman church, periodic clerical chutzpah notwithstanding.

Pfleger to Leo? You’re kidding

What part of the Pfleger resume led Cardinal George to think he would make a good president of Leo Catholic HS? The church is a depository and guardian of deep mysteries. This is not one of them, but for passing attention it qualifies.

Leo High, named after Pope Leo XIII, friend of the working man, opened in 1926, the father school of two other Irish Christian Brothers-run operations. But unlike Jesuits, Dominicans, Carmelites and others, the Brothers neither founded nor funded it. The Brothers run diocesan schools, as did and do the De La Salle (French-origin) Brothers, who have “D” and St. Pat’s if not others. So the archdiocesan CEO has a say in who’s president. Question is, why Pfleger?

I am bothered intensely by the apparent answer to that question, namely to provide a dumping ground for Fr. P., one he presumably (bad assessment of situation here) could not refuse, when faced with such brilliant (not) Machiavellian strategy.

Is there another CEO in the Chicago area or state or nation who would name Fr. P. among the thousand, nay ten thousand potential high-school presidents, worthy of consideration to fill the next opening? No, he would not be in the running for that or any other educational leadership post.

Not to say I have a brilliant strategy of my own. I just know a bad one when I see it.

Angels on the job in Oak Park

Oak Leaves star Bill Dwyer has this about Guardian Angels in Oak Park:

The Guardian Angels have begun citizen patrols along the CTA Green Line after five women have been choked or beaten and robbed in Oak Park.

Oak Park police are warning women to use caution when out alone following two more violent robberies on April 19. One victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

Five robbery attacks have targeted lone women since March 30. Police increased area patrols following the third attack, and they are circulating a sketch of the assailant based on the third victim’s detailed description.

Had it four days ago, in fact, but nothing yet from Wednesday Journal, which has been otherwise keeping up with the one-man crime wave.

I just passed two of them, by the way, walking north on Grove having turned off Washington. Looked up as I strolled 8:15 or so in the gloaming and saw them coming in white sweat shirts and red berets. Good for them.

Citizen comments on the latest Journal story include call for citizen night patrols by which to “take back Oak Park.” There’s also a computer-generated composite picture of the attacker based on a description given by the third victim. He was described as black, about 5-foot 9 inches tall, 200 pounds, medium build.

Comments also inevitably included complaints about police inability so far to do anything about this. One commenter, “Brad from Oak Park” called it

Very interesting – last night I saw a guy walking on the East Side of Oak Park Avenue, northbound, just sound of the Green Line. He passed the Green Line entrance and continued under the viaduct. His facial features resembled this composite sketch, but he had dred-locked hair, about chin length. I guess I’m profiling now, but he looked out of place and like he had a menacing/up-to-no-good look about him. Bottom line, this guy is not going to get caught unless the police start to profile.

Notice the semi-apology for “profiling” followed by his “bottom line” assessment that the guy won’t be caught unless the police “start to profile.” Like for getting terrorists. There’s dumb profiling and smart profiling, as in any human endeavor.  Why not do it the smart way with black muggers?

You know, like with serial killers on the TV shows.

Only God can make a tree, but still . . .

Trouble in tree city:

Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson delivered a rebuke on the eve of Arbor Day, finding the city’s vaunted tree-planting program suffers bookkeeping and inspection problems that have cost nearly $500,000 worth of trees in recent years.

Hey, it’s not their money and they don’t stand to get fired for such a mistake.

To S-T on McClory on Fr. Pfleger & Cardinal George

Letter to S-T:

Dear Editor:

Bob McClory’s argument for keeping Fr. Pfleger at St. Sabina parish limps in several respects.

First, it’s Bob’s own credentials for limiting Cardinal George’s authority in this case, Bob being an enthusiastic proponent of new limitations on bishops’ authority in general.  Indeed, the Pfleger case fits his predilection for espousing radical change in the church.

Second, he (rightly) praises Pfleger’s pastoral availability to the bereaved and suffering — a combination of high profile achieved by Pfleger himself and Pfleger’s abundant empathy.  But nothing in his transfer from St. Sabina would interfere with that, even work as president of a high school.  He could be equally available to bereaved and badly treated people.

Third, he says the cardinal has handled this badly, to which I ask, Pfleger hasn’t?

— Jim Bowman

Angela sings

Off to see #1 Daughter (also #1 Child) Angela at Uncommon Ground on Devon tonight, 8 o’clock.  She’s warbling to the music of Jon Williams.  And strumming too.

         Angela & Jon

Uncommon Ground has this to say about it:

Singer Angela Bowman (also of WABOLABR) teams up with guitar and piano player Jon Williams (Blue Line Riders, Chandelier Swingers) for a night of soulful songs. Come for a mix of roots music, honky-tonk, standards and swing tunes.

The Mama & I are going, plus others.  Report forthcoming.

The Pfleger case, continued

From Fr. Pfleger’s St. Sabina allies, via email:

On March 11, 2011, Fr. Pfleger met with Cardinal George where he was asked to take over as president of Leo High School .

On March 19, 2011, Fr. Pfleger sent a letter to Cardinal George saying that he was neither qualified nor experienced being president of a high school but that he was willing to help Leo High School in any way that he could.

There has been no response by phone call or letter from the Cardinal. Today, Fr. Pfleger was called to a meeting at 4:30 at the Pastoral Center . At that meeting Fr. Pfleger was given a letter that he was suspended and the Cardinal did not want to discuss it.

The Leadership of St. Sabina will have an official response tomorrow. We are in shock.
For your information the press received this letter before Fr. Pfleger and the church heard about it through press calls.

There’s lots of church history behind this one, going back centuries.

The shoe dropped

Fr. Pfleger said he’d bail out of the church if he could not stay at St. Sabina.

Cardinal George replied:

If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish.”

George explained:

This conflict is not between you and me; its between you and the church that ordained you a priest, between you and the faith that introduced you to Christ and gives you the right to preach and pastor in his name, said George. If you now formally leave the Catholic Church and her priesthood, its your choice and no one elses. You are not a victim of anyone or anything other than your own statements.

He’s been talking otherwise in recent years, says George:

George wrote that Pfleger told him several times in recent years that he did not want to stay at St. Sabina for the duration of his time in public ministry.

Introducing Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and assorted others.

An oldie but goodie on the good life

Happy to see this book discussed, exposed, whatever.  Picked it off the OP Library shelf few weeks back and had some revelatory skimming, including the part where in Boston in 2000 the store clerks don’t sell, they just fill orders.  (Recipe for bored clerks, yawning their way through their time with you)

But the part I remember best is how governmental efficiency takes the hassle out of shopping for the item of your choice.  No, instead you go to stores where samples are for viewing, with full, complete descriptions done impeccably by government employees in a central office!

Glory be, no more schlepping around from Macy’s to Carson’s to Old Navy and back, fretting about what you will buy.  In this marvelous book, government employees slip you the info you need, leaving you time to get back to perfectly tuned and attuned government surround-sound in your perfectly temperature–controlled house.  If only!!!!

Public Education and Illiteracy: Looking back Over 123 Years

Samuel Blumenfeld reports:

The year 2011 marks the 123rd year since the publication of Edward Bellamy’s famous utopian novel, Looking Backward, in which the author depicted a happy, socialist America in the year 2000. In Bellamy’s optimistic fantasy, greed and material want ceased to exist, brotherly harmony prevailed, the arts and sciences flourished, and an all-powerful and pervasive government and bureaucracy were efficient and fair.

A history lesson well worth your time.

Says NewsAlert.

T-party pats and 9/12 S-Town Project

This is the sort of thing you want to support, if only to declare your lack of confidence in how gummint people spend yr tax $.

An Appeal to Heaven

Chicago Tea Party Patriots


The 9/12 SouthTown Project

Faith, Hope & Charity


While Illinois spirals into bankruptcy, homeowners are being saddled to foot the bill more and more, through increasing property tax bills, even though home values have plummeted.

How can you get relief?

Join us on Saturday, May 21st, the Chicago Tea Patriots, along with the 9/12 SouthTown Project, at their Property Tax Relief and Business Fair, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Crosswinds Church, 10835 South Pulaski Avenue in Chicago where officials from the City of Chicago Tax Advocator’s Office and Dan Patlak from the Cook County Board of Review will be on hand to explain how property assessment works and how to potentially lower your property tax bill.

All homeowners seeking tax relief is encouraged to attend. In addition, there will be free health care screenings, local businesses on hand to showcase their trades and products, a conservative table of various issues, including help on food storage, book readings and other issues of interest to conservatives, plus a book, CD and DVD sale!

We’ve decided that we need to do more than just protest and rally… We have EVOLVED!  Instead of protesting taxes, we will provide you with the needed tools and knowledge to gain a possible decrease in your property taxes!  So bring your neighbor and learn the tricks of the trade, and get the needed help, to decrease your property taxes!


There will be a meeting Saturday, May 7th, 5 p.m., at Durbin’s, 10240 South Kedzie Avenue in Evergreen Park

We will discuss our upcoming Homeowner’s Tax Fair, summer events, upcoming elections, the fundraiser and 9/12 parade.  Last meeting was absolutely fantastic! Let’s keep this rolling!  If you haven’t made our meetings yet, do so! Durbin’s serves one of the best pizzas and burgers, so come out and get involved!

There will be a meeting Saturday, May 14th, at 3 p.m., at the Wabash Tap, 1233 South Wabash, just off the Red and Orange Line. There is a nice menu and available parking.
We will discuss our upcoming Homeowner’s Tax Fair, summer events, upcoming elections, the fundraiser and 9/12 parade.  Last meeting was absolutely fantastic! Let’s keep this rolling! 

I would like to know your suggestions whether you would rather have Loop meetings on Fridays or Saturdays, and if you have any ideas on nice meeting places… Let me know your thoughts.