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Priest who mocked Clinton placed on leave

June 4, 2008 at 2:15 PM

CHICAGO, June 4 (UPI) -- A Chicago priest and Barack Obama supporter who mocked Sen. Hillary Clinton has been placed on a leave of absence.

Cardinal Francis George has ordered The Rev. Michael Pfleger to spend a couple of weeks reflecting on his recent statements and actions in accordance with church regulations, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Pfleger made headlines May 25 when he delivered a guest sermon mocking Sen. Clinton and suggesting that she is a white elitist who felt entitled to the Democratic nomination for president.

Cardinal George said Pfleger did not want to spend time away from his duties at St. Sabina Catholic Church.

His parishioners and residents of Chicago's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood expressed anger at the cardinal's decision.

"It's unfortunate that one misstep would cause someone not to look at the overall good that Father Pfleger has done," said Lyne Grant, a social worker who occasionally attends St. Sabina.

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