At Mass this morning, the first lesson is taken from Chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles; it tells of the apostolic origins of the diaconate and the selection of the first seven deacons. The passage ends with these words:
"The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith." (Acts 6:7)
The priests being referred to here are, of course, the descendants of Aaron -- priests of the Old Covenant who offered sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple. But one cannot help but think also of priests of the New Covenant who, despite their Baptism and Ordination, are disobedient to the faith, and when I heard those words at Mass this morning, I thought immediately of Father Michael Pfleger.
Pfleger, for those of you fortunate enough not to know anything about him, is an egregious fool in the Archdiocese of Chicago who has spent decades playing the bad boy. I imagine that he thinks of himself as being filled with a prophetic spirit, when in fact it seems he is filled merely with himself. Pfleger is a longtime pal of Jeremiah Wright, the Bolshevik preacher who was for many years the pastor of Barack Obama, and much like Wright, Pfleger's "rebel with a cause" pose has made him the darling of the secular media and of the Catholic lunatic left.
Only last week, Pfleger received a lifetime achievement award for "promoting racial justice," but while presenting the award to Pfleger, Francis Cardinal George also tacitly acknowledged that Pfleger is a massive pain in the tuckus. Then, just days after receiving this award, Pfleger made the news again by saying in a homily that he thought women should become priests, bishops, and cardinals.
Not to put too fine a point on it: This man is a disgrace to the Catholic Church and to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and it is well past the time for the Archbishop of Chicago to take action against this false teacher.
The doctrine of the Catholic Church on the impossibility of women being ordained to the priesthood is clear, constant, and irreformable, and this teaching must be held definitively by all Catholics. Moreover, because Pfleger has taken the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity (these were first required of him to be ordained and then again to hold the office of parish pastor), he is bound by a public oath to accept the truth of this doctrine. For Pfleger now, and in a public act of sacred teaching, to repudiate this doctrine is an ipso facto disqualification for his office as parish pastor, and it is up to his bishop to help Father Pfleger face and accept the consequences of his public position by removing him from office.
In my estimation, disobedient and faithless priests constitute the principal obstacle to the work of the New Evangelization throughout the world. They cannot preach the Gospel with conviction because they no longer believe the Gospel is true. It is time for Michael Pfleger to admit to himself, his bishop, his congregation, and everyone who follows his misadventures in the media what has evidently been true for a very long time: He is not a Catholic Christian, and he should not hold an office in the Catholic Church.
The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Chicago increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith. Would that it were so.