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Bishop Joseph Strickland addresses the USCCB meeting Nov. 13, 2018.YouTube screen grab

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July 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of Bishop William Callahan of the Diocese of La Crosse removing outspoken cleric Father James Altman from his parish and suspending his priestly faculties, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas issued a message of support for Altman’s previous defense of Catholic morality, and called on the outspoken priest to now practice the “humility of obedience.”

Altman, whose viral video “You Can’t be a Catholic and a Democrat” catapulted him to fame, publicly clashed with his bishop in recent months. Bishop Callahan had asked him to resign, and Altman told LifeSite at the end of June that his ousting was imminent.

Speaking with LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen after the event finally occurred, Altman described the suspension of his faculties as an “interference with the feeding of God’s children, which is through Word and through the Sacrament.”

In light of Altman’s suspension, Father Mark Goring spoke with Bishop Strickland, who has previously expressed vocal support for Altman. 

Strickland revealed he was “troubled” to hear of Altman’s removal from the parish. Noting that neither he nor Goring knew the precise details of the entire situation, Strickland warned that “in the present climate, Fr. Altman is well known, and I was troubled because it seems that a voice of truth is being silenced.”

Goring warned that the “climate” within the Church, as referenced by Bishop Strickland, was drifting towards “a kind of liberal Protestantism,” which Altman had been speaking against. 

“When someone like Father James Altman rises and speaks against this grave error, faithful Catholics [are] relieved to hear that. To hear a voice like that has been silenced, it’s kind of concerning,” added Goring.

“People are hearing him boldly speaking the truth,” agreed Bishop Strickland. Strickland revealed that Altman had “certainly” expressed opinions that he did not agree with, but “when it comes to boldly teaching what our Catholic faith teaches, people are hearing him as a voice of that truth, and it’s a shame for it to be silenced.” 

“Maybe there are very good reasons if we knew the whole story, but I think we need to know more of the story in the present climate, and to acknowledge that some of Fr. Altman’s opinions – they’re his opinions. People don’t need our opinions as priests and bishops: they need the Catholic faith.”

Strickland had previously expressed similar words to Fr. Altman. In a June 2021 episode of the Bishop Strickland Show, he noted that he would continue to support the outspoken cleric, not due to the opinions of the priest, but because “he’s teaching the truth of the Gospel.”

Speaking to Fr. Goring, Strickland explained that the reason he has supported Altman is due to his defense of “the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death.” He referenced Fr. Altman’s public teaching that Catholics could not support anyone who supports “the killing of the unborn.” 

“That’s a very basic issue that he’s been very clear on,” stated Strickland. “It is clear Catholic teaching. We consider abortion to be intrinsically evil. Also on same-sex ‘marriage,’ he’s been very clear on that.”

The bishop also gave some words of counsel to Fr. Altman, urging him to now practice the virtue of “obedience.” 

“I believe deeply, personally, and in the whole structure of the Church, the humility of obedience is something that is of very strong, spiritual value,” he said.

“I know that gets frustrating when your being asked to be obedient in a way that you think is inappropriate, but I would advise, and I presume he has, to look at that question of balancing obedience with the truth.”

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"No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24

In the lead-up to their meeting in mid-June, we call on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exclude Joe Biden and other “Catholic” politicians (like, Nancy Pelosi) from Holy Communion over their public, obstinate, and scandalous promotion of abortion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the USCCB to act to stop the abuse of the reception of the Holy Eucharist by politicians who promote the murder of innocent pre-born babies.

We know that making a decision to exclude public figures from Holy Communion is not easy. But, sometimes, this is the only way to make them understand the error of their ways, and to preserve the Church from serious scandal.

Indeed, Canon Law (Canon 915) declares that those who persist in manifest, grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion

Beyond that, at this point, public excommunication appears as the only suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of promoting abortion.

In doing so, we do not hold ourselves up as judges over Joe Biden's eternal soul, but we encourage the bishops to make known one of the consequences of public and obstinate support of abortion by our 'Catholic' politicians.

The fact is, in terms of the manifest, grave sin of abortion, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be before the election.

Therefore, it is cold comfort that the USCCB is only preparing to discuss this issue only now.

But even now, if the USCCB publicly excommunicate Biden for his pro-abortion stance (as well as other pro-abortion politicians), the Conference could reclaim some of the moral authority which they lost by their largely silent assent to Biden's candidacy.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition, now.

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing orders and bills which facilitate the destruction of unborn human life.

  • In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.
  • Biden also signed (instead of vetoing) the COVID relief bill, which, for the first time in 44 years, contained funding for abortions in America, using taxpayer dollars.
  • Biden said that he wouldn't defend Hyde, and he hasn't.

And, if he and the Democratic Party get their way, a lot more of the same regarding abortion is on the way.

Strong action must be taken lest anyone, especially young people, be confused by the scandal of a "Catholic" in Biden's position aggressively promoting abortion, enabling the killing of innocent human beings.

American rank-and-file Catholics don't want any more compromise and equivocation from the Bishops Conference on this "pre-eminent" life-and-death issue.

We want clear action, not twenty more years of dithering and "dialoguing."

50 million babies have been lost to abortion in the U.S. since Roe!

So, we will NOT accept any more lives lost as a result of dithering and "dialoguing." [**Please see "Notes" below about how it has been reported that some senior U.S. clerics are trying to prevent this discussion from even taking place.]

And, we will especially NOT accept one life lost to abortion by politicians who claim the Catholic Faith, but who promote grave evil. God forbid!

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by not imposing public canonical penalties on a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

The bishops are now at a crossroads and must choose either God or mammon.

We call on them to choose God and choose Life!

And we also continue to encourage those brave, true and good bishops who have done well to warn Amercian Catholics about the perils to the unborn and the Faith resulting from Biden's promotion of abortion!

SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Biden administration has opened the way for ‘abortion by mail on a massive scale’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-administration-unleashed-by

‘Catholic’ Biden marks Roe v. Wade anniversary with pledge to make abortion available for ‘everyone’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-biden-marks-roe-v-wade-anniversary-with-pledge-to-make-abortion-available-for-everyone

BREAKING: DC archbishop affirms he will give Holy Communion to pro-abortion Joe Biden - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-dc-archbishop-affirms-he-will-give-holy-communion-to-pro-abortion-joe-biden

Vatican puts brakes on US bishops confronting problem of pro-abortion Biden receiving Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-puts-brakes-on-us-bishops-confronting-problem-of-pro-abortion-biden-receiving-holy-communion

Abp. Aquila backs call for pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Joe Biden to be denied Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion

Cardinal Burke floats ‘excommunication’ for Biden over his ‘aggressive’ abortion promotion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-floats-excommunication-for-biden-over-his-aggressive-promotion-of-abortion

Biden’s HHS is lying about Title X to push abortion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/bidens-hhs-is-lying-about-title-x-to-push-abortion

List of US bishops for and against denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Biden, Pelosi - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/list-of-us-bishops-for-and-against-denying-communion-to-pro-abortion-politicians-like-biden-pelosi

Notes about USCCB's June Meeting:

For nearly twenty years, the US bishops have been dithering about whether or not to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians by formally withholding Holy Communion from them.

Their indecision on this gravely scandalous matter is a scandal in itself, but one of the biggest obstacles has been internal opposition from senior U.S. bishops.

And, although the faces have changed in the last 20 years, their morally-and-intellectually-challenged arguments against excommunication have not changed.

Liberal bishops of the USCCB say that excommunicating Biden (for example) would divide the Church, divide the bishops, and would politicize the reception of Holy Communion.

Indeed, in the name of “unity,” it is reported that some senior U.S. clerics, including Cardinal Blase Cupich (Chicago), Cardinal Wilton Gregory (Washington, DC) and Cardinal O’Malley (Boston), have been working overtime to prevent any substantial discussion of so-called “Eucharist coherence” (that is, what qualifies as worthy reception of Holy Communion).

It is also reported that at least 57 other American bishops allegedly joined these Cardinals in a recent letter to the Head of the Bishops Conference, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, to try to pressure him to drop the planned discussion at the full meeting of bishops in June.

And now, even the Vatican is getting involved, with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggesting that even more “dialogue” is needed.

These same clerics may mistakenly believe that any attempt to suppress the objective connection between a politician’s promotion of abortion and his unworthy reception of Holy Communion will fool anyone.

But, it will not.

Rank-and-file Catholics are not stupid and can smell compromise a mile away, and we’ve had enough.

With all due respect to the Cardinal, bishops, and the Vatican…those who fail to act diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by “dialoguing” with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging the bishops Conference to take action at their June meeting to exclude pro-abortion Joe Biden and other abortion-promoting “Catholic” politicians from Holy Communion.

***Photo Credit: Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

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The bishop also spoke of a point when “all of us have to choose between living the truth, and being obedient,” describing it as a “tough decision to make.”

In addition to his counsel to “be careful about obedience,” Bishop Strickland also encouraged Fr. Altman to “take all of it to prayer,” in order to be obedient, “ultimately to the truth.” 

“Fr. Altman is obligated to be obedient, but obedient to the truth and obedient to his bishop. He’s got to prayerfully find that proper place for how that’s balanced in his situation.”

Bishop Strickland closed by calling for prayers, not just for Fr. Altman, but also for his bishop, so that Bishop Callahan might also be “obedient to God’s truth and to his responsibilities as a bishop.

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