Father Michael Pfleger faces second allegation of abuse

A second person is now alleging that Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church on the South Side abused them.

The Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed the second allegation to Fox 32 News on Sunday night. The Archdiocese said the man making the latest allegation is the brother of the first person who came forward.

Pfleger had stepped down from his duties after the first allegation in early January.

On Sunday night, Pfleger's attorneys released a scathing statement saying the two accusers are engaged in a "shakedown." 

The attorneys said that one of the brothers sent a handwritten letter to Pfleger dated Dec. 31, 2020, in which he allegedly wrote: "I am asking for a one time payment to help me move on in this troubled and confused time in my life.  I did not want to put a price, but I must.  I am asking for $20,000 to be sent to my ZELLE….[and that the Archdiocese has] made settlements that has changed men lives forever." 

In the meantime, Father Thulani Magwaza is serving as temporary administrator of Saint Sabina Parish and will attend to the needs of the parish and school community, Cardinal Blase Cupich said.

"It is crucial that you know nothing is more important than the welfare of the children entrusted to our care. The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages anyone who feels they have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee to come forward," Cupich said in a statement about the first allegation.

Pfleger has served as pastor at St. Sabina Church since 1981. In the decades since his appointment, he has become one of Chicago’s most well-known voices against gun violence, leading annual "peace marches" that routinely draw hundreds of attendees, including the likes of Chance the Rapper and survivors of the Parkland school shooting.