The Deacon's Bench

One of the most controversial priests in Chicago — or in the country, for that matter — has apologized for remarks he made in last Sunday’s homily:

Rev. Michael Pfleger — the South Side priest who has often found himself at odds with the Catholic church hierarchy — has issued a written apology after saying during his sermon Sunday that priests should be allowed to marry and that the Catholic Church should ordain women as priests.

In comments that he said in an interview amounted to a brief tangent in a 70-minute homily, Pfleger, the pastor at St. Sabina Catholic Church, spoke of Christ’s disciples abandoning him when he was taken away to be crucified.

They ran away when he most needed them,” Pfleger told parishioners. “Only John at the foot of the cross . . . . And the women . . . Hmm. That’s why there should be women priests. That’s why there should be married priests. That’s why there should be married priests. That’s why there should be women bishops and women cardinals.”

The videotaped remarks found their way online onto YouTube…

…The archdiocese moved quickly to calm the mini-storm. It posted an apology Wednesday on the archdiocese Web site that read:

“On Sunday, April 11, while preaching a sermon on the power of fear, I was referring to the fear that paralyzed the apostles, locking them in a room, leaving only John and the women at the foot of the cross. I stated that is why I believe women ought to be able to be ordained, as well as priests ought to be able to get married.” “While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings, and I am sorry I failed to do this.”

You can see the original comments from the homily below. (All I can add is: a 70-minute homily??!!)

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