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Pfleger greets the faithful, keeps criticism muzzled

Father Michael Pfleger plays with his dog Justice Sunday after unveiling memorial St. SabinChurch. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Father Michael Pfleger plays with his dog Justice on Sunday after the unveiling of a memorial at St. Sabina Church. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 25, 2011 12:29AM

As the gathering by the memorial began to break up, a few mothers continued to chat outside the wrought-iron fence that encloses the yard behind St. Sabina Church.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, who had returned to the rectory, soon reappeared this time walking his 5-month-old cocker spaniel Justice, who charmed young and old alike.

Pfleger refused to answer any direct questions about his suspension but said, “I’m doing good. I’m standing with my sisters today.”

“We’re standing with you,” a woman said in return.

Pfleger was suspended from his ministry by Cardinal Francis George on April 27 after he said he would leave the Catholic Church rather than accept a position outside of St. Sabina.

Pfleger continues to have the undying support of many.

“This is the man who was in the emergency room with me when my son was fighting for his life,” parishioner Annette Holt said. “He does so much for us. My heart is heavy because of this situation that seems so unnecessary.”

Pamela Hester-Jones said, “We pray Father Pfleger can stay where God has put him. He’s one of the good angels.”

To the mothers, Pfleger said, “Keep praying for me.”

As the 11:30 a.m. mass, which Pfleger usually heads, was starting inside St. Sabina, Pfleger continued to greet passersby who stopped to look at a memorial.

Asked if he would rather be inside preaching or outside walking his dog, Pfleger smiled and said, “No comment.”

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