Rev. Wright and Fr. Pfleger surprise Maya Angelou audience

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Rev. Jeremiah Wright warmly received at St. Sabina’s Friday

The beleaguered former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) surprised a large audience last Friday who waited to hear esteemed poet Maya Angelou speak at a South Side church. Fr. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina strayed away from the night’s program to acknowledge a “true prophet” and to thank him for agreeing to come to the church’s final installment of the season’s African- American Speaker Series. The crowd of more than 1,000 quickly rose to its feet and clapped before Pfleger announced who was about to emerge from the sanctuary’s rear door %uFFFD Rev. Jeremiah Wright %uFFFD retired senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ and Obama mentor. Wright has been under fire for the last several weeks after excerpts of a seemingly inflammatory videotaped sermon delivered about seven years ago surfaced on YouTube.com, and was repeatedly aired on news outlets. Obama publicly disagreed with Wright’s statements, but said he would not turn his back on him. The South Side pastor, with his wife by his side, smiled at the rousing applause he received from the audience. After the program, Pfleger invited Wright to give the closing benediction. Before the prayer, Wright introduced his wife. “She’s what sweetens my coffee and puts the dip in my hip,” he said joyously. Pfleger said it’s “shameful” that Wright is being condemned for a few seconds [of his sermon] out of the many years he’s been at the pulpit. Asking Wright to appear at the church was the right thing to do, especially at this point in his life. “I asked him if he would come and he said he would be honored. He’s one of Dr. Angelou’s biggest fans. It’s wonderful for him to see the love people have for him. He’s a strong brother,” Pfleger said after Wright’s benediction.

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