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St. Sabina Group Says It Stands By Father Pfleger, Facing Accusations Of Sexual Abuse From 40 Years Ago

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The faith community of Saint Sabina wants the world to know they support Father Michael Pfleger.

He has stepped away from the parish while the Archdiocese of Chicago investigates allegations of child sex abuse from 40 years ago.

"Pastor Pfleger is a fighter who is typically very vocal. However he is sensitive to the gravity of this investigation process," said Associate Minister Kimberly Lymore. "Pastor Pfleger's 45 years of ministry speaks for itself."

Saint Sabina parish leaders are planning several events to demonstrate their support for Father Pfleger, including marches and prayer vigils.

The abuse claim did not happen at the parish.

Pfleger said he is "devastated, hurt and yes angry," after he was asked to step away from ministry as the Archdiocese of Chicago investigates a child sex abuse claim against him from more than 40 years ago.

"I can't possibly respond to the hundreds of Texts, emails, and calls that I have received from all across the nation since yesterday," Pfleger wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday morning. "I am devastated, hurt and yes angry, but I am first, a person of Faith, I Trust God. Please keep me in prayer and the Faith Community of St. Sabina. I have been asked by the Diocese not to speak out at this time. I am Blessed with good leadership and amazing members, whom I love.. Pray also for the person, my life is more than a 40 year old accusation, and on that and my Faith I will stand...The Lord is my Shepherd..... I love you.."

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