(CNN)—Rev. Michael Pfleger, the controversial Catholic priest who mocked Hillary Clinton in Barack Obama’s former church last month, said Thursday he does not “aplogize for being passionate,” or for “being free.”
"But I apologize when my passion or my freeness and my flawedness of character get in the way of a content which is much more important to me," Pfleger told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The controversial comments came during a May 25 visit to Barack Obama’s former church, when Pfleger described Clinton as a white elitist who felt entitled to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. He also mocked the New York senator for becoming teary-eyed at a New Hampshire campaign stop in January. Shortly after the comments, Pfleger was asked by his church, St. Sabina Church in Chicago, to take a temporary leave of absence.
“And then out of nowhere, came ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,” Pfleger said during the sermon last at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. “ And [Clinton] said, ‘oh damn, where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!”
Pfleger initially said he regretted the words he chose for his sermon.
"These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama's life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them," he said in a statement.
Pflegers sermon, as well as the controversial comments of Jeremiah Wright, ultimately led to Barack Obama’s resignation from the church late last month.
"We don't want to have to answer for everything that's stated in the church," Obama said of his resignation then. "We also don't want the church subjected to the scrutiny that a presidential campaign legitimately undergoes."
Pfleger said Thursday he promised leaders of the church he would not mention the presidential candidates ever again by name, but insisted there is a place and should be a place for the church in the political spectrum.
"The church has to be the one to be the voice of conscience to the world and can't be afraid to be that," he said. "It has to speak to politics and the policies and the politicians and to raise those questions, or we're not faithful to what our mission is."