Chicago Archdiocese reinstates controversial Father Michael Pfleger after sexual abuse allegations

The Archdiocese of Chicago said there's no reason to believe Father Pfleger is guilty

The Archdiocese of Chicago is reinstating Father Michael Pfleger after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 30 years ago.

Pfleger faced the accusation in October and stepped aside while the allegation was investigated. The allegation of sexual abuse was reported to law enforcement officials and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

"Father Pfleger has been asked to step aside from ministry and live away from the parish while the allegation is investigated. He has agreed to cooperate fully with this request," Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich said on Oct. 15.

Cupich said in a Saturday statement to the St. Sabina Church community, where Pfleger is a priest, that there's no reason to believe he's guilty, according to FOX 32.

CONTROVERSIAL CHICAGO PRIEST AND ACTIVIST FATHER MICHAEL PFLEGER FACING NEW SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATION

Chicago priest Father Michael Pfleger

Chicago priest Father Michael Pfleger (FOX 32 Chicago)

"The Review Board has concluded that there is no reason to suspect Father Pfleger is guilty of these allegations. Having given careful consideration to their decision, which I fully accept, I now inform you that I am reinstating Father Pfleger to his position of senior pastor of the Faith Community of St. Sabina, effective immediately. I want to recognize that these months have taken a great toll on Fr. Mike and all of you, and I am committed to do everything possible to see that his good name is restored," Cupich said in the letter.

Pfleger's reinstatement comes after a review from the "Office of Child Abuse Investigation and Review and outside investigators," Cupich said.

CHICAGO CHURCH RALLIES AROUND PRIEST AFTER SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Father Michael Pfleger performing a sermon. 

Father Michael Pfleger performing a sermon.  (FOX 32 Chicago)

Pfleger has previously been accused of sexual abuse. In January 2021, he was accused by two brothers in their 60s who alleged that Pfleger sexually abused them in the 1970s, but the claim was later found to have been unsubstantiated.

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Roman Catholic Father Michael Pfleger poses in Saint Sabina Catholic Church in in Chicago January 9, 2009. 

Roman Catholic Father Michael Pfleger poses in Saint Sabina Catholic Church in in Chicago January 9, 2009.  (John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Chicago Catholic priest isn't new to controversy and was criticized for defending Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who is known for his comments after the 9/11 attacks, stating that "America’s chickens are coming home to roost."

Fox News' Pilar Arias, Danielle Wallace and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.