Monday, June 4, 2007

Personal Asides: Guess What? Pfleger’s Death Threat Doesn’t Involve the Catholic Archdiocese. That’s the Ecclesia-Political World Jimmy Rules.


Personal Asides: Guess What? Pfleger’s Death Threat Doesn’t Involve the Catholic Archdiocese. That’s the Ecclesia-Political World Jimmy Rules.

Jimmy Rules.

While Chicago newspapers have put a gag on the murder threat Father Michael Pfleger issued to a Riverdale merchant…and to state lawmakers who vote against gun control…Fox News Network carried the story Friday night on “Special Report.” The show repeated the details of the story…that Pfleger shouted to an unruly Operation PUSH crowd that they should drag the owner of the legally constituted gun shop out of his store “like a rat” and then “snuff” him as well as “snuffing” lawmakers who vote against gun control.

The threat against the life of a business owner and the lives of lawmakers who don’t follow the dictates of Fr. Pfleger—a threat of murder and violence—was ignored by the Chicago archdiocese and the print media which stalled for days providing no comment. But Hannity & Colmes show May 31 quoted the archdiocese as saying Pfleger’s statements were a ‘matter for civil authorities and not the Archdiocese.”

Pfleger’s impassioned speech went like this (after he was introduced by the Rev. Jesse Jackson):

“He’s the owner of Chuck’s, John Riggio, R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out. You can’t keep hiding because you’re afraid. Obviously you know you’re doing something wrong. You wouldn’t have your business in a truck. You wouldn’t have a truck pushed in front of your door because you know you’ve got to hide. Like a rat, you’re going to hide, but like a rat, we’re going to catch you and pull you out. We are not going to allow you to continue to hide when we’re here.”

Pfleger’s spokesman said the priest didn’t understand the word “snuff you out” meant execution. If he’s an expert on anything, Pfleger understands poor ghetto gangland talk—and “snuff out” means only one thing: “murder.”

The archdiocese’s refusal to complain about Pfleger is in line with the habit it has had of hiding whenever controversy looms involving either the left or the powerful Democratic party in which Pfleger is a key player. . Source of the statement came from Chancellor Jimmy Lago …the layman who makes the trains run in the archdiocese…also the best Democratic precinct captain former Cook county Democratic chairman Eddie Vrdyolak ever had. The ecclesia-political world Jimmy rules brushes off the incitement to death and violence by a radical priest who is incardinated into the high command of the Democratic city of Chicago (attending Sox games in box seats with Mayor Daley) and the Cook county Democratic committee—a special group of Catholic Democratic favorites including the Daleys, Eddie Burke, the Hynes, the Madigans, the Emil Joneses, the Stogers and the Jim Houlihans.

Why is the Catholic church here buttoned up so tightly with the Democratic party…that both entities breathe in unison… notwithstanding there is no such thing as a pro-life Democratic pol anymore? The alliance pays many bills. Jimmy Lago (pronounced “lah-go”) is the shrewd political entrepreneur who runs the archdiocese. The Catholic church has been for years linked indissolubly with the Democrats who fund the Church and stack the boards of the two so-called “Catholic” universities which sanction abortion and teach and preach gay-rights, part of the current liberal Democratic catechism…with the Church refusing to lift even one heavily ringed finger of protest. But as Chancellor, with his symphony orchestra director skill, Lago has erased distinctions to seemingly make a unity of two parts.

He is where he is because only one party runs things here (the Republican party is insignificant)—and leaders of that party are pro-abort, a doctrine that has been anathema to the Church for most of its 2000 years. Since “Roe v. Wade,” there has been a kind of restive uneasiness but under Jimmy the Church has come to dismiss the differences in favor of political and financial rewards that can only come from being on the good side of the Democrats. Thus under Jimmy, the Church has become the Church Compliant and recognizes that fact. Were it to go to war on the abortion issue, it would alienate the entire political structure on which it depends. It it would censure its entire financial base, its political base and most of its societal standing.

Can you imagine what would happen if the Church inveighed publicly here against its political members who support abortion—from Mayor Daley to the second most powerful U. S. Senator, Dick Durbin? Allies of both bring hefty largesse, subsidies and powerful social clout to bear. To turn on them because of principle would take a foolhardy courage. The dictum that we are to be fools for Christ has never had a great following in this archdiocese. The one thing you have to say about Jimmy is he’s no fool.

Thus Jimmy has decided that the Church here will rise above principle. The architect of that policy is the Italianate ex-Democratic precinct captain who now is, unaccountably, Chancellor of the archdiocese—the first layman to hold the office. To measure his influence you would have to compare him to a combination of the deft boldness of Karl Rove and the whip-cracking decisiveness of Dick Cheney both serving under consecrated ecclesiastical leadership—theologically gifted, studious, introspective, spiritually intellectual, but with all the drawbacks of humility: a man of hesitations and double opinions in a post where decision and singleness are indispensable.

Time was when Chancellors of the archdiocese were priests. Not this time around. The argument is that giving a layman this job frees a priest for more spiritual duties. By that reckoning, Lago has done a lot of relieving of the clergy of heavy duties. Essentially, he has risen because at least two archbishops recognized he encapsulates Democratic party power in a one-party city as well as its attendant financial ties that bind.

He was chief lobbyist for the archdiocese in Springfield where he was disinterested in the social issues—only in the material ones. One ex-lawmaker who headed House Appropriations told me that of all the lobbyists he had to necessarily deal with, he dreaded Lago most because Lago “had the coldest eyes in the Capitol” and could hint unique retribution for displeasure. Lago eschewed anything to do with moral issues, just subsidies, inducements for parochaid and tax credits. He was promoted to head of Catholic Charities. There “he told so many lies to get things moving, he convinced himself he was telling the truth,” a former executive told me.

Those political wiles continued to shove him up to Chancellor. His predecessor, Fr. Thomas Paprocki, was a dedicated pro-lifer who with sermons and effective communications could zing Catholic lawmakers who were heedless of the social teachings of the Church on abortion. Paprocki was okay with Joseph Cardinal Bernardin but then Bernardin who his own best politician and linkage with the left. An Italianate skill with liberal social thought identical to Lago’s got him national attention and he thought it prudent to have Paprocki as counter balance as when Paprocki called for “reform of the reformers.” Being diffuse…and acceptable to many publics… was Bernardin’s genius.

Church Compliant vs. Church Militant.

But once Bernardin died, it was felt that a hard-core Dem pol was needed for Chancery and Lago was the choice. Since then any distinctions between the way the Chancery here is run and City Hall or Cook County are negligible. Chancellor Jimmy Lago, once the best Democratic precinct captain Ed Vrdolyak had, knows how to push the right levers.

Do I say that Jimmy down and ordered the women’s auxiliary of the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls to ask Hillary Clinton to come here and speak? No, of course not. The Church’s penetration does not depend on one man; it is a cultural reality. The good liberal ladies who volunteer are hot-breathing Democrats and they thought they could kill two birds with one stone—get a big turnout with contributions for Mercy from fellow Democrats and help a Illinois native running for Democratic president. Do I say that when there was a rumble about Clinton’s coming here Jimmy interfered and said “naw, she comes”? No, of course not. A smooth running political operation does not need the ministrations of the head man at every step of the way. That’s what a nest of Democratic precinct captains…as Jimmy was in the 10th…are supposed to do. Fr. Scott Donohue takes the heat. He’ll take the heat for awhile but soon, it is hoped, all will be forgotten.

Jimmy Lago (his real baptized name is Jimmy, not James, just as his brother’s real name is Timmy, not Timothy), is enormously influential as the tie-in between the Church and the ruling Democratic junta of city, county and state. If the Dems still published an ad book, his name and photo would follow on a page just after the Mayor and Board president.

This Pontius Pilate pro-Democratic hand-washing exercise is served up to the largely…not entirely…compliant spoon-fed liberal Democratic Chicago media via its p. r. office led by Chancery spokeswoman Kathleen Dolan who herself has in her background impeccable Democratic relationships. But don’t think the decision to leave Pfleger’s murder incitement up to cops was hers. It was made by one much higher. That’s because Pfleger is a major player in the politics and the economy of the Church. Were he to depart, as he earlier threatened, the politics and economy would be worsened.

The favoritism Pfleger gets is vastly different than most other pastors have received in politics since Pfleger is a crown prince of radical leftism and the Cook county Democratic party. Pfleger’s role is to host black incendiary leadership to fire up the black base and keep it fired up until election day. Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan have been main speakers at Pfleger’s church rallies.with Barack Obama high next on the list… to rev up the “faithful” in election season. Pfleger plays to the base which bolsters the Democratic party here but his value to the Church Compliant in terms of financial benefits is every bit as valuable.

Pfleger is a Sacred Cow because if he is transferred from Sabina’s which he has pastured since age 31—more than 20 years ago—he has announced he will start his own church. If Pfleger skips…with his oratorical skills and demagoguery, Superior street worries he’ll be another James Meeks in a couple of years with his kind of following…to be joined by some other independent operators. The Church will lose the revenue. Meeks operation is so popular he has a private jet at his disposal. Although a Democrat, Meeks keeps the Dems up at night with his threats to run for mayor or governor. No one at either City Hall or on Superior street needs another Meeks; especially a Pfleger. That’s why Superior street has vowed to keep Pfleger happy, keep him free from term limits and hope he sticks. He can run a carnival at Saint Sabina’s as part of his Masses, with dancing and Dem presidential pols, but keep him there.

That’s why Pfleger has been given a pass from the usual term-limits that all other pastors have to observe. Courting the highly influential Democratic base of the Church here means political favor and largesse. That’s why the Chancery looks the other way as so-called “Catholic” universities accommodate major Democratic “Catholic” office-holders at City Hall, Springfield and Washington to deliver subsidies to the schools…in return for which everybody in the Church shuts up about “Gay Pride Week” such as is happening at DePaul and “Gay Theology” at Loyola without a peep of protest.

All the while, pro-lifer volunteers are kicked out of Church parking lots on Sunday distributing literature for candidates? The volunteers are verboten because they are seen as opponents of Democrats—and are, since no Democrats can touch pro-life, the third-rail in the party. You think it’s coincidence that these good silver-haired, silver-tongued Irish monsignors and auxiliary bishops…with eyes as blue as the lakes of Killarney…romance the Democratic pro-aborts on one hand and on the other give the order to priests and ushers to shag the pro-life volunteers away—“or, goodness me, we’ll lose our tax exemption”? And some of the baa’ing sheep telling their beads in the pews murmur: oh no, we wouldn’t want that!

Is it not ironic that a Church whose most recent Pope opposed the death penalty has no protest to Pfleger’s death threat? A Church that condemns violence has nothing to say about Pfleger intimidation? And why no major print media squawk? Hey, isn’t it a story when a priest shouts vengeance and death threats? It always was when I was reporting. Well, what party does the working press…99.99% of them…belong to, vote for and cover lovingly? You got it. The reigning party that governs us all. The orchestra is directed by Ed Vrdolyak’s former number one precinct captain—who is the Chancellor of the archdiocese no less.

Superior street will recover its mission when it condemns without fear or favor those Catholic politicians who support abortion and other abnormalities…not just behind trembling cupped hands but from the pulpit. The Church Compliant will then become the Church Militant. It’s a far, far better thing for us to lose our political clout, our special favors, our subsidies…even if an IRS cracks down, our tax exemption…than our souls. And Superior street should start by condemning and transferring Michael Pfleger.


  1. It would be interesting to see how the chancery would react if a conservative priest in the archdiocese were to publicly endorse the NRA and declare himself to be a proud life member. Would that involve the Catholic Archdiocese?

  2. Tom

    Fr. Pfleger pretty much confirms the media blackout of his inflamantory statements. This from St. Sabina website:

    "All the news media were there, as well as about 400 people and heard the whole speech. It is interesting to me that no one took this interpretation of the words I spoke, not the media or any of the 400 people present until Tuesday, when the I.S.R.A. sent out a press release with their propaganda"

    So neither the media nor those in attendance thought it newsworthy that a priest used some very aggresive language in confronting a shopowner. That in itself is the shocking state of the Chicago Media.


  3. Two incidents recently made the news: Americans for Separation of Church and State complaining to the IRS about an evangelist telling his followers a vote for Mormon Mitt Romney was a vote for Satan, and the IRS itself warning a church in Kansas about exposing their governor's contribtions from an abortionist.

    St Sabina is also a 501(c)(3), yet is apparently impervious to similar investitgation--despite donating no small amount of church effort and resources backing specific citizen disarmament legislation, as well as threatening to use the force of his following to "snuff out" legislators who don't vote his way.

    I guess the double standard is, if you preach from a fundamentalist perspective, you're violating rules you agreed to when you opted to be able to accept tax-deductible donations. But if you preach neo-Marxism, you're doing the state's work for it.

    More at: