This NY Times article from 2007 is pretty revelatory in light of the recent controvery:
CHICAGO, March 5 — The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., senior pastor of the popular Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and spiritual mentor to Senator Barack Obama, thought he knew what he would be doing on Feb. 10, the day of Senator Obama’s presidential announcement.
After all, back in January, Mr. Obama had asked Mr. Wright if he would begin the event by delivering a public invocation.
But Mr. Wright said Mr. Obama called him the night before the Feb. 10 announcement and rescinded the invitation to give the invocation.
“Fifteen minutes before Shabbos I get a call from Barack,” Mr. Wright said in an interview on Monday, recalling that he was at an interfaith conference at the time. “One of his members had talked him into uninviting me,” Mr. Wright said, referring to Mr. Obama’s campaign advisers.
Some black leaders are questioning Mr. Obama’s decision to distance his campaign from Mr. Wright because of the campaign’s apparent fear of criticism over Mr. Wright’s teachings, which some say are overly Afrocentric to the point of excluding whites.
Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said the campaign disinvited Mr. Wright because it did not want the church to face negative attention. Mr. Wright did however, attend the announcement and prayed with Mr. Obama beforehand.
Not exactly a distant relationship…