Father James Altman Suspended From Duties for Standing Up for Catholic Teachings, Says He Will Fight Suspension
Father James Altman — the Catholic priest who became a YouTube sensation last year for his videos addressing Catholic teachings on social issues many Catholic priests and bishops fail to follow — has been suspended from his pastoral duties by his bishop. But Fr. Altman is standing his ground and has hired a canon lawyer to fight the suspension.
Last year, Fr. Altman gained Internet popularity with a series of viral YouTube videos addressing issues ranging from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church shutting down churches in response to a virus with more than a 99 percent survival rate to Antifa and BLM riots to Catholics who vote for Democrats — even explicitly stating in one video that “Joe Biden is not Catholic” because of his position in opposition to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality and abortion. The same videos that gained Fr. Altman a wide and enthusiastic following also put him in the crosshairs of Bishop William Patrick Callahan, who presides over the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where Fr. Altman served as pastor of St. James the Lesser Catholic Church.
On May 23, Fr. Altman told his congregation that Bishop Callahan asked him to resign because his “divisive” tone and comments have made him “ineffective.” The bishop’s claim that Fr. Altman is “ineffective” appears to be a case of the bishop playing a rousing game of tit for tat; In a recent video, Fr. Altman called he U.S. bishops “ineffective” for “their failure to stand up against the godless government over the past 14 months” — a reference to the restrictions those bishops put in place for churches as a response to COVID-19.
Fr. Altman told his congregation that he declined the bishop’s request for his resignation.
The following day, Bishop Callahan suspended Fr. Altman. The official statement made by the diocese began by saying:
Fr. James Altman has recently made public the request from Bishop William Patrick Callahan that he resign his office of pastor of Saint James the Less Parish in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, as well as his intent to decline the request. As a result, the Diocese of La Crosse will respond in accordance to the canonical process as needed for the removal of a priest from his office as pastor.
The statement goes on to say that “concerns have been expressed related to the ministry of Fr. James Altman” and that “Bishop Callahan of the Diocese of La Crosse, and canonical representatives have worked to fraternally and privately address those concerns,” adding, “The process has been pastoral and administrative with a desire toward a just resolution among all parties.”
In short, The bishop claims that Fr. Altman’s “divisive” tone makes it impossible for him to continue as pastor of St. James the Lesser. In reality, Fr. Altman has done nothing short of his duty to shepherd his flock in troubling times in which weak (or worse) bishops act as accomplices to an overreaching and heavy-handed government while pretending that the likes of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and other pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality politicians are faithful Catholics in good standing.
And while the bishop paints a picture of “concerns” that “been expressed related to the ministry of Fr. James Altman” over the past year, Fr. Altman told John-Henry Weston of LifeSiteNews that at the conclusion of his sermon announcing that he would not resign, his congregation did something that is out of the ordinary in a conservative Catholic Mass; they stood and applauded him. So much for “divisive” and “ineffective.” He told Weston, “The faithful know one thing above all: that I love my people and I will feed my people in word and in sacrament.”
Fr. Altman has hired a canon lawyer to fight the suspension. A canon lawyer is someone who has studied the canon law of the Catholic Church and is authorized to represent clients in cases where the application of those canon laws is in question. He told Weston that the process could take up to a year, during which time he will be in a sort of “limbo.”
LifeSiteNews and other conservative Catholic voices are asking people to support Fr. Altman during this time by signing a petition, contacting the Catholic Diocese of LaCrosse directly, and by pledging to a LifeFunder campaign to help with the costs of the canon legal proceedings. The contact info for the diocese can be found at the bottom of this blog article.
Published at Sun, 30 May 2021 18:50:39 +0000
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