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Pfleger to visit Holocaust museum after cardinal’s rebuke

The St. Sabina pastor is expected to go to the Skokie museum in “late June.”

Fr. Michael Pfleger has accepted an offer to visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum in June, according to museum staff.
Sun-Times file photo

The Rev. Michael Pfleger has accepted an offer to visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum after Cardinal Blase Cupich rebuked the controversial South Side priest for allowing Minister Louis Farrakhan to deliver “antisemitic rhetoric” from Pfleger’s pulpit.

“We look forward to continuing this important dialogue and sharing the museum with him,” said museum spokesman Thomas Jilk, who confirmed that Pfleger had agreed to come in “late June.”

Neither Pfleger nor the archdiocese returned requests Tuesday for comment.

Pfleger was sharply criticized by museum leaders and Cupich, among others, after he invited Farrakhan to speak at St. Sabina. At the time, Pfleger, in explaining his reasoning, called himself a “defender of free speech.” He was responding to the Facebook announcement in early May that it was banning the longtime leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam as part of the tech giant’s efforts to rid its social media platforms of hate speech and “dangerous” people and organizations.

During his speech May 9 at St. Sabina, Farrakhan blasted Facebook and also referred to “good Jews” and “Satanic Jews,” prompting Cupich’s rebuke.

“Minister Farrakhan could have taken the opportunity to deliver a unifying message of God’s love for all his children,” Cupich later said in a statement. “Instead, he repeatedly smeared the Jewish people, using a combination of thinly veiled discriminatory rhetoric and outright slander.”

Cupich also laid the blame at Pfleger’s feet, and urged the pastor to visit the Holocaust museum and meet with leadership there.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger sits next to Minister Louis Farrakhan at St. Sabina Church
The Rev. Michael Pfleger sits next to Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan at St. Sabina Church on May 9, 2019.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times