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October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — As the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett gets underway, a little instruction on the Catholic faith might go a long way to prevent secular journalists and pundits from making embarrassing claims.

And so, to you, I offer this very brief primer. 

Christianity is strange — very strange — so nothing about the teachings of our faith should surprise you. Most of you will be freaked out:

  • We believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that God created the universe and everything in it. 
  • We believe that God created mankind, male and female.
  • We believe that although it was written by the hands of men, the Bible is the Word of God, as if God himself had written every word of it.
  • We believe that through sin, humanity is separated from God, but God sent His only Son — the Second Person of the Triune God — to redeem us from sin and restore our relationship with God.
  • We believe that prophets of the Old Testament foretold His coming and that many personalities found in the Old Testament prefigured Him.

Now here’s where it gets really weird:

  • We believe that the Second Person of the Trinity entered time and space, conceived by the Third Person of the Trinity — the Holy Spirit — in the womb of a young virgin named “Mary,” who remained a virgin for her entire life.
  • We believe that after Jesus Christ entered public life, He worked many miracles  — everything from turning water into wine to healing lepers and restoring sight to the blind to raising the dead to life.
  • We believe that far more than a teacher or a role model, He is Himself God —true god and true man.
  • We believe that after He was convicted as a criminal by religious and civic authorities, He was beaten, tortured, nailed to a cross, and crucified, as foretold by Old Testament Prophets.

But wait! It gets even weirder:

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PETITION: Stand with the priest who rebuked the Democratic Party and admonished the bishops
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PETITION UPDATE (7/9/2021)

Father James Altman was informed late last week that he has been removed as pastor of St. James the Less parish, and that his priestly faculties have been suspended indefinitely.

Please Click Here to WATCH LifeSite's exclusive interview with Fr. Altman, and Click Here to READ more about this turn of events.

As Bishop William J. Callahan’s decree explains, this means he is forbidden from celebrating “The Holy Eucharist” with any members of the faithful present, except for his elderly parents. He is also “no longer allowed to preach,” administer baptism, or assist at marriages.

Altman said that he wasn’t issued restrictions from hearing Confessions or Anointing of the Sick.

The decree also states that he is to continue to live within the Diocese of LaCrosse, where he has been instructed to meet with the Vicar for Clergy at least once a month, and has been “invited to begin” a month-long “spiritual retreat” to help him to “spiritually heal” and “address the issues that caused the issuance of this decree.”

The order states it is in effect as long as “cause” is present, but it does not specify what the cause is. Callahan said he asked Altman to resign on May 23 for being “divisive and ineffective.”

Altman first triggered backlash from his bishop when his video “You cannot be a Catholic and a Democrat. Period” went viral last year. Altman shared that in response to this, his office “got the most vile, despicable phone calls, letters” and “some terrible, really foul messages.”

Callahan criticized Altman at the time for his “manner and tone,” to which Altman countered, “what about the manner and tone of the 10,000 babies that are chopped up last Saturday?”

“What I would hope would always come through no matter what people think about my manner and tone, is that they would recognize that what’s coming through there is God’s love,” Altman told LifeSiteNews. “A love that I recognize because He’s loved me, and I didn’t deserve that.”

“If I seem angry at times, it has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the people. And I asked the question recently, how can they love? If you love, how can you not feed your children?”

In late April, Altman chided the U.S. bishops for needlessly shutting churches and denying the faithful sacraments during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the hierarchy showed “an abundance of cowardice.”

In his interview with LifeSite, Altman alluded to the fact that some don’t like seeing him “upset.”

“I’m thinking well, if you’re denying my child food, the Bread of Life – [Bishop Fulton J. Sheen] said, if you can’t get angry about stuff like that then you can’t love either. Because greater love has greater anger towards those things that are contrary to the salvation of eternal souls, which is the only thing that matters in the end,” said Altman.

"I don’t care what they do to me, honestly, in the end… what troubles me is the interference with the feeding of God’s children, which is through word and through the sacrament. Both of which were denied to people over the past 15 months."

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition, and to continue to contact the Diocese of LaCrosse's Chancery Office, to politely voice your opposition to the removal of Fr. Altman from his parish. The Chancery's phone number is: 608-788-7700.

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PETITION UPDATE (5/24/2021) -

Father James Altman, the Wisconsin priest whose video message last fall "You can’t be a Catholic and a Democrat" went viral and who has fearlessly admonished the U.S. bishops for shutting churches and denying the faithful Sacraments during the COVID-19 crisis, announced on Pentecost Sunday that his bishop has asked him to resign for being "divisive and ineffective."

Please CLICK HERE to READ LifeSiteNews' latest article related to Fr. Altman's ongoing persecution, just to continue shepherding his flock.

Bishop William P. Callahan began threatening the outspoken priest with "canonical penalties" in September, even as public support for the priest surged among rank-and-file Catholics around the country and the world.

And now, a group called 'Faithful America' is proudly boasting responsibility for taking down Fr. Altman, but Faithful America are not even a Catholic organization!

Thankfully, Fr. Altman says he is working with a canon lawyer to resolve this matter.

WATCH Fr. Altman's Sunday sermon in which he announces the bishop's decision to ask for his resignation.

"In response my canon lawyer asked for clarification – asked for the justification and a chance to review what was in my file that suggested I was so divisive and ineffective,” explained Altman. “And I say all this only because, I'm no expert on canon law, but understand only that while we are contesting bishop's request — and we are — he could in theory appoint a parish administrator whilst I remain a pastor without duties until the appeal goes through Rome, which could take up to a year or more."

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, offered his support for Altman via Twitter.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition with your like-minded family and friends.

And, after signing and sharing, please take a minute to contact the LaCrosse Diocese to politely voice your support for Fr. Altman, and against leftist pressure groups like 'Faithful America.' Please ask Bishop Callahan to prayerfully reconsider his decision and allow Fr. Altman to remain as pastor of St. James the Less parish.

The phone number for the diocese office is: 608.788.7700

Thank you!

PETITION UPDATE (9/15/2020) -

Just this past weekend a prayer vigil was held outside the Cathedral in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on behalf of Fr. James Altman, the priest facing Church penalties for saying that you cannot be a Catholic and a Democrat in 2020.

Hundreds of faithful Catholics turn out to pray for Fr. Altman. Though Fr. Altman did use strong language to warn his flock against spiritual perils, what he said about the Democratic Party's platform is true!

Motivated by a deep sense of justice, supporters gathered at the Cathedral to pray for the priest, and for Bishop Callahan to stand by his priest rather than punish him.

"Fr. Altman is a rare breed. He’s a modern-day St. John the Baptist," declared one woman who attended the prayer vigil. "He’s really changed my life and so many others he’s had that impact on. We need more priests who are true shepherds."

Fr. Richard Heilman, who is the founder of the U.S. Grace Force and who was also present to help lead people in prayer during the vigil, had this to say about Fr. Altman: "Bottom line: he loves, loves, loves his flock. And so, like a good shepherd, if he sees the wolves invading, he sounds the warning alarm."

Please consider SIGNING this petition if you have not already signed. And, please SHARE this petition and video with your family, friends and colleagues. Thank you!

If after signing and sharing you wish to make an even greater impact, we encourage you to contact the Diocese of LaCrosse's Chancery Offices to politely let them know that you support Fr. Altman and want to see him continue in his essential ministry.

Diocese of LaCrosse's Chancery Office phone number: 608-788-7700.

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ORIGINAL PETITION TEXT:

Father James Altman, pastor of St. James the Less parish in the Wisconsin Diocese of LaCrosse, has been threatened with canonical punishment by his Bishop, Most Rev. William Patrick Callahan.

Fr. Altman's alleged "offense"?

Stating what every faithful Catholic knows to be true in 2020: "You cannot be a Catholic and a Democrat."

Please SIGN this petition which will go to Bishop Callahan and ask him to stop any canonical proceedings against Fr. Altman.

In a strongly-worded YouTube video, designed to shepherd the faithful out of harm's way (supporting the Democratic Party's evil platform), Fr. Altman states the following:

"Here's a memo to clueless, baptized Catholics out there: You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period. Their party platform absolutely is against everything the Catholic Church teaches. So, just quit pretending that you're Catholic and vote Democrat. Repent of your support of that party and its platform, or face the fires of Hell..."

Strong stuff to be sure, but Fr. Altman was taking his cue from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (whom he quotes) – the Church has a "duty and obligation" to speak up when politicians act in an immoral way.

In other words, a pastor must give strong warnings, at times, to guide souls away from grave danger, even when the dangers come from politicians or a political party.

When your house is burning down...or, more appropriately, when someone is attempting to burn your house down, it's time to dispense with the niceties of politically correct language.

And, as Fr. Altman suggests, the Democratic Party's evil platform which promotes the desecration of God's plan for humanity is, in effect, trying to burn down our house (i.e., the Church).

Not only do the Democrats openly advocate for abortion (i.e., killing innocent human beings), but they also promote the destruction of the natural family and the desecration of human nature in support of the homosexual and transgender agendas.

Remember the following:

  • The Obama-Biden Administration attempted to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to participate in the provision of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception and threatened schools with the loss of federal funding if they wouldn’t let boys in girls’ bathrooms and vice versa.
  • Democratic Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono grilled a judge, who is a Knight of Columbus, on his membership in the Knights, absurdly suggesting that membership in the Catholic mens' fraternal organization should disqualify someone from sitting on the bench.
  • And, in 2017, the DNC Chairman said that pro-lifers were not welcome in the party.

No faithful Catholic should even think about voting for such a platform. And, the bishops should be on the frontlines, speaking this truth to power.

Thankfully, the Bishop of Tyler, Texas, Most Rev. Joseph Strickland, has come out in support of Fr. Altman's statement, tweeting:

"As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr. Altman’s statement in this video. My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation...please HEED THIS MESSAGE.”

With this petition, we now ask that Fr. Altman's own bishop, Most. Rev. Callahan, likewise support his priest and stop any canonical proceedings against him.

Devoid of united leadership from the Hierarchy, individual priests must do their best to inform the laity of the mortal dangers on full view in the Democrats' platform.

And, threatening to silence priests for strongly speaking the truth only plays into the hand of those who actually hate what the Church stands for...and who will, if elected, most likely seek to injure, or even eradicate, the Church.

The bishops should know that the legacy of the Democratic Party being the party of the small man and of the Catholic immigrant is now over.

The Democratic Party of today is the party of radical individualism, not the common good. And, rabid support for abortion and the homosexual agenda are practically obligatory.

As such, the Democratic Party is not a friend of the Church and any priest or bishop who thinks otherwise is being deceived, or allowing himself to be deceived or bullied.

This is not just an abstraction! This is a serious threat to Christianity and their party's platform needs to be met with strong opposition.

Thank you for SIGNING this petition to the bishop of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Bishop Callahan, asking him to support Fr. Altman rather than bringing any canonical proceedings against him.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Bishop threatens ‘canonical penalties’ for priest whose viral video warned Catholics can’t be Democrats': https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-threatens-canonical-penalties-for-fr-altman

YouTube Video - 'Fr. James Altman: You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period.': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-7eoTN2vNM

Statement regarding Fr. James Altman from Bishop Callahan: https://diolc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Statement-Father-James-Altman-090920.pdf

'Bishop Strickland echoes priest: ‘You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat’': https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-strickland-echoes-priest-you-cannot-be-catholic-and-be-a-democrat

**Photo Credit: Screen capture from Fr. James Altman's YouTube video on Alpha News MN

  Hide Petition Text

  • We believe that on the third day following his death, He rose from the dead.
  • We believe that forty days later, He ascended into heaven.
  • We believe that ten days after that, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within his disciples, imparting to them a share in the divine nature, making them adopted sons and daughters of God. 
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit’s presence in the believer’s life yields a confidence in one’s divine sonship that exceeds human understanding.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows “spiritual gifts.”
  • We believe that as the Church, we are the Body of Christ, while also believing we are the Bride of Christ.
  • We believe that during the Mass, bread and wine are actually turned into the real  Body and real Blood of Jesus Christ, which we then consume.
  • We believe that Jesus’s Blood cleanses the stain of every sin we confess.
  • Finally, we believe that we are to evangelize every person in the world. This includes you, and it may be the most significant result of ACB’s very public confirmation hearing.

Weird, right? There is nothing mainstream about Christianity or Catholicism, other than the watered down social justice aspects that don’t come close to defining Christianity in any substantive way. 

On the contrary, Christianity is the most radical counter-cultural movement the world has ever known. 

So it’s completely OK to be shocked. The Gospel is meant to shock and offend, and then convict you of your absolute need for salvation through Jesus Christ, in, through, and for whom you were created, and whose sacrifice on the Cross is the only means of salvation available to you and every other human being ever born.

Here are some immutable truths that you no doubt will regard as both heresy and hateful. For us, these are not just articles of faith; they are solidly based in science and nature:

  • What you are tempted to identify as “transphobia” is the solid, grounded knowledge that men are men and women are women. There is no migrating back and forth between sexes.
  • What you call “homophobia,” which is basically defined as disagreement with anything that the Human Rights Campaign asserts, is merely the recognition of the scientific fact that the complementarity of the sexes exists throughout nature.
  • Marriage is between one man and one woman, displayed in the complementary natures of our bodies and beings, again, throughout nature and history. 

If you resent and disagree with these truths, that’s unsurprising, especially for those who are products of public and higher education.  

That’s OK. Nobody is perfect. 

Dr. Russell D. Moore once alluded to the old TV show town Mayberry, which many remember fondly as a period in time in which Christianity seemed to flourish — a wistful nostalgia for something that never actually existed. 

We don’t have Mayberry anymore, if we ever did. Good. Mayberry leads to hell just as surely as Gomorrah does. But Christianity didn’t come from Mayberry in the first place, but from a Roman Empire hostile to the core to the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah. We’ve been on the wrong side of history since Rome, and it was enough to turn the world upside down.

Christianity isn’t normal anymore, and that’s good news. The Book of Acts, like the Gospels before it, shows us that the Christianity thrives when it is, as Kierkegaard put it, a sign of contradiction. Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the worlds we construct. But the strange, freakish, foolish old gospel is what God uses to save people and to resurrect churches (1 Cor. 1:20-22).*

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Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.

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