Obama’s resignation from Trinity United Church of Christ, which he has attended for 16 years, was an attempt to put the issue behind him as he closes in on the Democratic nomination to run against Republican John McCain for the White House.
“This is not a decision I come to lightly and frankly it’s one I make with some sadness,” said Obama. “Trinity was where I found Jesus Christ, where we were married, where our children were baptised.”
The Illinois senator cut ties last month with Trinity’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who angered many with anti-American and racially charged sermons. Just as controversy over Wright had died down, a Roman Catholic priest mocked Obama’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during a guest appearance at Trinity United.
In his sermon Fr Michael Pfleger, screamed and imitated Clinton and accused her of espousing “white entitlement”.
Pfleger later apologised and was condemned by Obama and the archbishop of Chicago.